A similarly wayward drive on the par-five second, which played the easiest hole on the course in 2016, cost Willett another shot and left him five off the pace being set by Ryder Cup team-mates Thomas Pieters and Andy Sullivan.
One of the joys of The Masters is the familiarity of the golf track.
Matsuyama's 2017 has started remarkably, finishing either first or second in his first six starts.
"There is no place like Augusta no matter where we go around the world to play golf". Willett ended his day on a sour note, three-jacking at the hard par-4 18th.
It has been an underwhelming season so far for the 29-year-old, who nonetheless occupies 17th in the world rankings.
Over the weekend, an enjoyable documentary made its way into the public eye titled "When Danny won the Masters". "And the last 12 months has been somewhat of a roller coaster within life and golf".
Willett has not won a tournament since slipping on the Green Jacket 12 months ago a few weeks after winning the Dubai Desert Classic.
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Willett has endured a prolonged slump since donning the Green Jacket, with just three top-five finishes and no wins from his subsequent 23 appearances.
"He played the ball back in the stance, got a bit steep on it and hit it a fraction fat". It could work in Willett's favor to be under the radar, but he has confessed that his major breakthrough has brought on difficulties that he did not envision. He was even doubtful to play the Masters this week, but after doctors said the operation was a success and no chemotherapy was required, a relieved Day turned his attention toward Augusta. A person wins the tournament, they are very popular for a week and then they are talking about the next person, you know what I mean? Some might dismiss this as barring no significance to the outcome of the Masters, but it would be a fitting year for Garcia to end his search for a major title.
"A lot of my stuff, the reason we do that is to protect the back - the fade movement helps with the pain on the back and helps me move without putting the back under too much stress".
Gregory's playing partner Sandy Lyle, the 1988 champion, was faring considerably better and followed pars on the first and second by chipping in for a birdie on the third. "To not have him here, it's going to be a sad week", Willett said.
"I don't think it's fair that people can sit there and say them kind of things; they wouldn't do it if they were stood next to you in the pub or anything like that".
"Honestly, I think he'll be quite thrilled to get this Masters out of the way and then concentrate on the rest of his career without being the current Masters champion", Montgomerie said.