Fleetwood took dead aim in the late afternoon calm and fired at the pin from 170 yards. His ball landed a few paces in front of the hole and never looked like going anywhere but the bottom of the cup. The Englishman flung his arms in the air in celebration as the handful of spectators on hand roared.
It was the 23rd ace at the hole in the Masters, and the 16th this century. The other par-threes at Augusta have given up just nine between them.
Fleetwood also had an ace during the World Golf Championships-Match Play event in Austin, Texas a fortnight ago.
Meanwhile Justin Rose made a mockery of treacherous conditions to card a remarkable 65 and claim a four-shot lead.
While the majority of the field struggled with greens described as “like glass” by 1991 winner Ian Woosnam and “pretty crispy” by former Open champion Henrik Stenson, Rose overcame a slow start with a sensational burst of scoring at Augusta National.
After playing his first seven holes in two over par, the Olympic gold medallist covered the next 10 in nine under thanks to an eagle on the eighth and birdies on the ninth, 10th, 12th, 13th, 15th, 16th and 17th. That ensured Rose, who lost out in a play-off to Sergio Garcia in 2017, ended the first round in the lead for the fourth time in his career, matching the tournament record set by six-time champion Jack Nicklaus.
“I guess the good news is I don’t know what happened, that’s often when you play your best golf and get into the nice rhythm or flow,” Rose said. “I didn’t panic being two over through seven. I knew this was a day not to play yourself out of the tournament; the course had a lot of teeth to it.
“The pins were relatively fair so good golf shots could be rewarded and to be nine under for my last 11, you can never quite see that coming here at Augusta National.”
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