The first round of the Masters always provides some surprises. Australian Marc Leishman – ranked 108 in the world and playing in his second Masters – set the early lead after four successive birdies on holes 13 – 16 helped him to a six under-par 66.
He was later joined on the same score by Sergio Garcia, whose immaculate round included no bogeys but only one birdie on Augusta’s four par-5s.
Big-hitting Dustin Johnson nestled into third spot after a five under-par 67. One behind him lie England’s David Lynn, Americans Rickie Fowler, Fred Couples and Matt Kuchar, as well as Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and 2008 champion Trevor Immelman.
Adam Scott continued his recent good form in this event with an opening 69. Jim Furyk did all his scoring on the front nine en route to a matching three under-par round and 2007 winner Zach Johnson joined them in 10th place.
Lee Westwood recovered from a double-bogey on the 1st hole to shoot a two under-par 70, the same score as Justin Rose and Tiger Woods, who all share 13th spot.
Luke Donald made six birdies in his one-under par 71. He’s tied-23rd alongside Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson and seven others.
Rory McIlroy made the turn in two under-par but four bogeys on the back nine meant he had to settle for a level 72 and tied-33rd place, with former major winners Vijay Singh, Mike Weir, Y. E. Yang and Martin Kaymer.
Graeme McDowell was one shot worse after a 73, a score matched by 14 year old sensation Tianlang Guan and Keegan Bradley.
Last year’s runner-up Louis Oosthuizen took 74 strokes, while defending champion Bubba Watson struggled to a three-over par 75, leaving him tied-64th and one spot above Ian Poulter who shot 76.
The second round is due to begin at 13.00BST on Friday.