One of the surprising leaders at the Masters is a 37-year-old first-timer who refused to play Augusta National until he was invited for the tournament

Scott Davis
william mcgirt

Matt York/AP

37-year-old William McGirt was the biggest surprise of day one of the Masters, shooting three-under.

McGirt seemingly came out of nowhere to momentarily top the leaderboard, a first-time Masters player using his strong short game to his advantage at Augusta National.

Even more surprising, McGirt has very little experience on the course.

According to ESPN's Jason Sobel, while McGirt played on mini-tours, he was invited to play at Augusta National, but always turned down the opportunity, waiting until he qualified for the most prestigious tournament.

McGirt finally qualified last year after winning the Memorial Tournament, shooting a one-under 71 in the final round to enter a playoff and later win. Since then, McGirt has finally allowed himself to play and familiarize himself with the course.

According to Sobel, McGirt has been taking in the entire Masters experience. He's bought food from all of the vendors, racked up a healthy bill at the merchandise store, and attended a tribute to Arnold Palmer at 7 A.M., four hours before his tee time.

McGirt began round two one-under par through nine holes, perhaps giving himself a true shot at becoming one of the greatest Cinderella stories in Masters history.

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