Wyndham Clark opened his campaign at Augusta National Golf Club with a 1-over 73, while LIV Golf's Bryson DeChambeau surged into the lead with an impressive seven-under-par 65 during the first round of the 2024 Masters.

Clark expressed optimism about his chances, while taking a jab at DeChambeau and LIV Golf; “Yeah, we've got 54 holes. In LIV Golf they only play 54, so I like my chances,” he said via Golf Digest.

The controversial LIV Golf

The fourth-ranked golfer globally declined an offer from LIV Golf, stating that he chose to prioritize protecting his legacy.

While DeChambeau, a former US Open champion, was among the notable golfers to sign up for the contentious breakaway league. This league offers massive contracts backed by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund.

LIV Golf has been under fire for its exclusive format and unconventional setup, employing a shotgun start, no cut, and a 54-hole format.

Even with ongoing discussions between the PGA Tour and the PIF, LIV Golf athletes are still barred from participating in the Tour and are ineligible to receive Official World Golf Ranking Points.

DeChambeau has been successful in LIV Golf, winning twice in 2023, and he also secured a T4 finish at the PGA Championship last year.

Defending Masters champion Jon Rahm, who left the PGA Tour in December, has urged the circuit to alter its format.

Wyndham Clark's recent showing

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The 30-year-old Clark showcased an impressive start by going 3 under on his first nine holes. However, he faced challenges on the back nine, bogeying holes 11 and 18, and taking seven shots on the par-5 15th.

“If I played the par-5s a little better, and maybe make one or two putts, we'd be having a different interview right now,” the 30-year-old said. “I felt like I played great. My game feels good. Just got to make some putts and tighten it up on the par-5s,” said Clark per Doug Stutsman of the Augusta Chronicle.

Clark completed four practice rounds before the tournament, noting that each round was played “in perfect weather.”

Thursday was a different story, though. Braving gusts reaching 30 miles per hour, Clark hurried up the hill at No. 18 to mark his ball, which was teetering on the top shelf of the green.

“It's really hard to make putts when it's blowing 20 and gusting,” Clark stressed.

“You’re trying to time the putt with the gusts.”

Bryson DeChambeau addressing previous comments

Meanwhile, Bryson DeChambeau reflected on his first round 65 by saying, “Regarding the 67 comment, you know, You mess up, I'm not a perfect person. Everyone messes up.” via Sean O'Brien of talkSPORT.

“You learn from your mistakes and that was definitely one.”

DeChambeau, when asked if his previous comments held true today, responded grinning, “You're trying to pigeonhole me into saying that again, aren't you? I'm not going to comment on that.”

Wyndham Clark was paired with Viktor Hovland and Cameron Smith, both of whom shot under par with scores of 71.