Golf

Blog: Best of first round at Augusta

Lindsey Vonn is on hand to watch Tiger go for his fifth green jacket.
Lindsey Vonn is on hand to watch Tiger go for his fifth green jacket.
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Stuck at work? We'll be watching the Masters and scouring the web for good stuff to keep you as up to date as we can. Follow our leaderboard all day long for the latest scores and keep up with all the sights and sounds right here as we track the fun at Augusta.

Child's play

The course has an unusual amount of players seeing red. However, 14-year-old Tianlang Guan didn't quite get below par. The Chinese teen did birdie the 18th hole to complete a remarkable round of 73. All five of his bogeys came on par-4 holes. He'll no doubt have some more fans, adding to an already impressed group. Friday's goal: make the cut.

Serge, er surge, by Garcia

Everyone has been waiting, seemingly, forever, for Sergio Garcia to win the big one, sometimes, any one. The Spainiard is off to a sizzling start, rolling in birdies to race to 6-under through 15. Garcia has not had a hiccup and finished his round at 66, good for a share of the lead with Marc Leishman. His countryman, Gonzalez Fernando-Castano kept with five birdies through 17. He tripped up on 18 with a bogey and wound up in a group at 4-under 68.

Tiger lurking, poised, ready to pounce ...

Tiger Woods has finished his first round at 2-under 70. Other than the obligatory he's in striking position mindset, the world's No. 1 golfer reached 3-under at 13, gave a stroke back on 14 and parred his way into the clubhouse. While not a rousing start, eyebrows were raised when he dropped an f-bomb after a shot on 11. Following his every move was world champion skier and current girlfriend, Lindsey Vonn.

"I thought I putted well today. I left myself some pretty good little par saves and was able to make those. I was very satisfied today," Tiger said before offering a cautionary note.

"We got a long way to go. This golf course can change dramatically by tomorrow."

Looks like that short game is back. Now if he can just get the rest to come together.

Bubba trouble

For those of you hoping for a repeat of Bubba Waton's victory in 2012, the defending champ didn't get off to a good start. Watson struggled to a 3-over-par 75. He never got it going, taking a bogey on his first hole and never finding his way into red numbers.

Down Under-par

There is a new leader and he is another unknown. Marc Leishman shot a 6-under par 66. The Australian is playing in his second Masters, having missed the cut in 2010. In this opening round, Leishman birdied consecutive holes from 12-16 to put himself two clear of another surprise, Englishman David Lynn.

We have a hole-in-one!

Jamie Donaldson has made the first hole-in-one at the Masters since Chris DiMarco in 2004, nailing the ace on the par-3 sixth hole.

Tough round for Watson

What started out so promising has now turned into a nightmare round for Tom Watson.

He opened par-par-birdie and seemed to be cruising along, perhaps ready to turn back the clock for a coupld of days again like he did at the Open championship in 2009.

Then it all fell apart, with five bogeys and a double-bogey and he sat at 6-over through 12 -- dead last on the leaderboard at the time.

Lynn-sanity!

No, Jeremy Lin hasn't switched to golf. We're talking about David Lynn, a 39-year-old Englishman, playing in his first Masters and just his third major, and who has been an eye-opener all day.

He reached the turn in 33, then immediately bogeyed the 10th hole. That might have derailed some guys, but Lynn's gotten right back in his groove and a birdie on 15 drops him to 5-under, two ahead of his nearest competitor. Yes, it's early, but it'll be worth watching to see how he handles the early success.

Then again, maybe Lynn knew something we didn't.

A little hiccup on No. 17 slowed the momentum for Lynn, but the Masters rookie can still lay claim to going into the clubhouse with the lead after his first round.

He parred No. 18 to wrap up a round of 68, good for a one-stroke lead at the time his round ended, though he was later passed.

"When I was on the ninth, I turned to my caddie and said, 'We're leading the Masters.' He just looked at me and smiled. I told him, 'I'd rather be leading it Sunday afternoon,' " Lynn said. "But it's not a bad thing to see your name up there leading the Masters."

Lynn, the funnyman who is playing in the Masters for the first time, had reached the turn in 33.

Click here for more on the prankster.

 

Golden oldies

Back to those honorary starters for a moment. You think it's as easy as walking up, smacking a ball, waving to the crowd and calling it a day?

Not even close.

Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus were up well before dawn to get ready for their duties, warming up with a bucket of balls on the driving range to make sure they were at their best.

And Player says while there was no official competition, there was clearly pride on the line.

“Of course,” Player said, “I want to hit the longest drive. I want to tell my kids and my grandkids that I outdrove Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer.”

For the record, he finished second at 235 yards -- two behind Nicklaus' blast.

Starting to get the picture

Photos are starting to pour in and we're collecting the best of the bunch. And get ready people, Tiger's going to take the course very soon. 

Rough start for amateur

Longtime amateur Nathan Smith isn't doing himself any favors early on. He bogeyed the first and third holes on his way to a +3 through five holes.

He's not alone struggling on No.1 though. Lee Westwood opened with a double-bogey. And it's not even close to the toughest hole he'll face today.

Legends launch 2013 Masters

The first round is officially under way after the big three of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player launch their ceremonial tee shots to start the day.

The trio cracked a couple jokes, then cracked a few balls in front of a throng of fans on either side. The shots don't make a difference in the outcome of the tournament, but it's always a fun watch.

Wozilroy

The most popular caddie of the day – Caroline Wozniacki, tennis star and girlfriend of Rory McIlroy.

Wozniacki was on the bag for Rory’s unofficial 5-over 32, a score that was capped by Wozniacki playing the final hole. Her tee shot was chunked into the water at No. 9 and she ended up with double bogey on the hole.

Even with the poor performance with the club in her hands, Wozniacki arguably signed just as many autographs as McIlroy on Wednesday, maybe even more. Check out photos of the two of them in action. -- Golfweek

Very superstitious

Bo Van Pelt had his first Par-3 Contest title in sight.

He was 5-under heading into No. 9 before sticking his final tee shot to about 8 feet. But instead of attempting the birdie for a chance to move to 6 under – that score would’ve won the competition – Van Pelt let his sons have a go with the putter. He would bogey the hole to wrap up an unofficial 4-under 23. As he explains it, he had no choice in the matter:

No Par-3 winner has gone on to win the Masters that same week, and it’s that jinx that could explain why Van Pelt threw in the towel. -- Golfweek

Tagged: Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia, Matt Kuchar, Tom Watson, Ted Potter, Jr., Marc Leishman, Rory McIlroy, Ian Poulter, David Lynn, Bo Van Pelt, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus

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