2011 Masters first-round blog

BY foxsports • April 7, 2011

That's it for the day. Your final leaderboard is McIlroy and Quiros at 7 under, Yang and Choi at 5 under, and Barnes at 4 under.

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Quiros stiffs his approach to 18. The man is en fuego. He makes the birdie and finishes at 65, which is 10 shots better than his previous best in a Masters!

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Phil chips to about 6 feet, but his putt to save par dies off to the left. So he finishes at 2 under.

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Quiros with a birdie at 17 to get to 6 under. This is an exciting player.

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Again with the 3-wood, Phil's in the right-hand rough — sorry, "second cut" — on 18, but he has to try to hook his approach around the corner. It doesn't hook and he's down in the swale.

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K.J. Choi gets to 5 under with a long birdie at 18. It's getting crowded here.

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Phil puts the driver in the bag and goes with the 3-wood at 17. What do you know — he hits a fairway. And the green. And makes par.

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Quiros follows his bogey save on 14 with a nice birdie at 15. he's lurking at minus-5.

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Ever since his misadventure at 12, Vegas has straightened himself out, birdieing 13 and 14, then curling in an eagle putt on 15. He's finally back in red figures.

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Phil needs a birdie at 15, and he's on in two and in good shape. Two putts later, he's 3 under.

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Heck of a bogey at 14 by Quiros after he missed the fairway, then hit his second shot off a tree.

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Quiros is a 28-year-old Spaniard with 5 European Tour wins. He missed the cut in two previous Masters appearances.

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Alvaro Quiros gets to 5 under with a birdie at 13. Fourteeen is playing easier than usual, 15 is a birdie hole and 16 is a possibility, so he has a good chance to catch the leader.

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Phil catches a tree with his drive on 14. Can he make a barkie? Nice punch approach — he just might. And he does! That's 2 under.

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Yang, who was over the 18th green in two, misses his par outt, finishing bogey-bogey and dropping two shots off McIlroy's lead.

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Phil just misses a 15-footer for what would have been a tremendous birdie.

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Jhonny Vegas putting like Elvis, missing a short one at 12.

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Phil looks like he could use a chain saw right now. But he does have a shot out of the woods, and he gets it back to the fairway.

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Ricky Barnes and Alvaro Quiros tied with Matt Kuchar for third at 4 under.

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More driver problems for Phil. He over-cuts his tee shot at 13. We'll wait to see if it's in the hazard.

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Yang in trouble off the tee at 17 — in the trees to the left. Goes at the green with a punch-hybrid. He misses a 6-footer for par and slips one shot off the lead.

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Phil with a very nice 6-foot par-saver at 11.

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Y.E. Yang within one shot of the lead after a birdie at 15, and he follows with a nice tee shot on the 16th. And he follows that with a birdie that ties him for the lead.

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Phil punches out through a chute through the trees and winds up in front of the green at 10. he chips up and saves par.

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Amateur Hideki Matsuyama gets to 3 under with a short birdie putt at 15.

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Phil's tee shot at 10 won't cut, despite his pleas, and ends up in the right-hand trees.

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Phil's approach to the ninth green isn't long enough, and rolls back down the hill. But his chip is much better and he saves par.

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McIlroy followed his first-round 63 in last year's British Open with an 80, but he says he's learned from that.

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Phil Mickelson makes his first birdie of the day, at No. 8. He gets close to the green in two and chips to about 3 feet.

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Tiger finishes with a 71 after missing a 6-footer for birdie on 18. He's six shots behind McIlroy.

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Y.E. Yang with a terrific second shot to 13, curling the ball down to within 2 feet of the pin for eagle.

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Phil Mickelson runs a 15-foot birdie try just past the cup on No. 7 and makes his seventh straight par.

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Tiger's playing 17 the hard way, missing the fairway and having to go over trees to get to the green. He overcooks the approach, though, and he's over the green. But he hits a beautiful lob pitch to 2 feet and taps in for par.

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He hits Y.E. Yang had it to minus-4, but he couldn't make a 4-foot par save at 11.

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Phil Mickelson looks like he'll make his first birdie at No. 5, but his putt barely curls away from the cup.

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After Tiger birdies 14, his birdie streak ends unexpectedly at the 15th. He almost hits the hole with his third shot, but can't sink the 6-foot putt coming back.

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Rory McIlroy's in with a 65, by far his best round in a Masters. He missed the cut last year and shot 72-73-71-70 in 2009. He shot a 63 in the first round of last year's British Open at St. Andrews.

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Phil Mickelson burns the edge of the cup with a birdie try at the second and has to settle for par on the par 5.

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It's a routine two-putt birdie at 13 for Tiger after he reaches the green in two. He's back to even.

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Tiger makes a 6-foot par save at the 12th after finding the front bunker with his tee shot.

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Phil Mickelson gets up and down for par at the first after missing the fairway and the green, but chipping close.

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Tiger starts the back nine with back-to-back bogeys and is plus-1. At 11, he drove into the right trees, left his second well right of the green, chipped up and lipped out an 8-footer for par.

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Rory McIlroy's lead is up to 3 shots with his birdie at 15, his second birdie on a par 5. He's at 7 under.

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Defending champion Phil Mickelson about 10 minutes from teeing off.

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Ryo Ishikawa gets to 3 under with a birdie at No. 13.

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Tiger makes the turn in 1 under.

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Rory McIlroy birdies the tough 14th to get to 6 under.

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Charl Schwartzel eagles No. 8 to get to 4 under.

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Hiroyuki Fujita pitches in for eagle at 13 to get to 3 under.

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Retief Goosen follows his bogey at 11 with another at 12. He's back to 3 under, and might be in the creek at 13. On closer inspection, he's OK. In fact, he makes birdie to get back to minus-4.

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Rory McIlroy misses a chance at 13 when his seemingly sure birdie putt horseshoes out.

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Brandt Snedeker also in at 69 after birdieing 14 and 15.

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Matt Kuchar bogeys the ninth to drop to 3 under.

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Tiger pars No. 8, meaning he's 0-for-2 in making birdies on the par 5s.

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Retief Goosen bogeys No. 11 to drop to minus-4 and out of a share of the lead. Rory McIlroy is alone at 5 under.

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Camilo Villegas bogeys the 17th and finishes at 70.

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A birdie on the 18th gets Sean O'Hair in at 70.

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Rory McIlroy ties for the lead at 5 under with a 7-footer for birdie on 11.

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Ross Fisher is in, the leader in the clubhouse with a 69.

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Matt Kuchar making a move. He's birdied 2, 4, 7 and 8 to get to 4 under.

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Camilo Villegas birdies 13, 14 and 15 to get to 3 under.

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Tiger makes his first birdie, at the par-3 sixth. He's 1 under.

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Sergio Garcia quickly to 3 under with birdies at 2, 3 and 5.

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Aaron Baddeley drops three shots with a triple bogey at the 12th.

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Fisher bogeys the 17th to fall back to 3 under.

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Goosen birdies No. 8 to take the lead at 5 under.

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Through four holes, all pars for Tiger.

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If you're watching Live from Amen Corner on Masters.com, you can't help but notice the loud chirping of birds. Which always reminds us of our favorite sports story, the 2000 Washington Post expose that ratted out CBS for piping in recorded bird calls to two of its tournaments (neither was the Masters).

A sharp-eared birder tipped off the newspaper, recognizing the calls as those of birds who were not found within hundreds of miles of the courses in question (sort of like hearing a lion's roar in the Mojave Desert).

CBS has steadfastly maintained that it no longer fakes its birdcalls, but that hasn't stopped us from wondering every time we've heard them.

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Tiger on the course. He pars No. 1 but drives into the fairway bunker on No. 2. He can't get home in two and has to settle for a par on the par 5.

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Goosen birdies Nos. 3 and 4 to join Fisher at 4 under.

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McIlroy runs in his third straight birdie, at No. 4. He's three under.

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Who is Ross Fisher, you ask? He's a 30-year-old pro from London with four wins on the European Tour. He was a member of Europe's 2010 Ryder Cup team.

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Fisher is on fire. He birdies No. 11, his sixth birdie of the day. And on a 65-foot putt, no less.

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Rory McIlroy birdies the second and third holes.

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England's Ross Fisher birdies Nos. 8 and 9, makes the turn at 3 under. Fisher with five birdies on the front nine, but also two bogeys.

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Heck of a start: Retief Goosen eagles the first hole!

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Correction: Ross Fisher birdied the par-5 second hole.

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We finally have a birdie — Sean O'Hair on the par-4 third hole. And now Jerry Kelly birdies the par-5 second.

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Augusta gets you right away. Four of the first nine players have bogeyed No. 1.

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Excellent news from the USGA and R&A regarding the trend of players being disqualified for violations discovered by TV viewers.

From now on, if the player was not aware he had broken a rule and could not have reasonably known that he did, he will still receive the penalty associated with the breach of the rule, but will not be disqualified.

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For the first time since 1999, Tiger Woods is not the Masters favorite. Phil Mickelson is the bookies' choice at 13-2.

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Arnie and Jack both hit the fairway, and we're off!

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Welcome to the FOXSports.com Masters first-round live blog. We're just a few minutes away from Palmer and Nicklaus hitting the ceremonial first tee shots.


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