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Page last updated at 00:47 GMT, Friday, 11 April 2008 01:47 UK

Round one as it happened

England's Justin Rose has a share of the lead after the opening round of the Masters at Augusta.

Rose was helped by a run of six birdies in eight holes and is on four under with South Africa's Trevor Immelman.

Lee Westwood was also in a tie for first but slipped back and is with Brandt Snedeker and Brian Bateman on three under.

Ian Poulter had a hole-in-one in his two-under 70 while world number one Tiger Woods finished on level par.

LATEST ACTION AS IT HAPPENS (All times BST)

606: DEBATE

To get involved, text us on 81111, and join the debate on 606

By Mark Orlovac

0116: That's it from me folks, thanks very much for your company today. We'll do this all again tomorrow so remember to get involved with loads of chat. Take care.

0113: Westwood sinks it and he will be well satisfied with his opening-day efforts.

0112: Jeepers, it really is dark now. Westwood putts from off the green and is left with a four footer for par.

0106: Westwood goes right with his drive at the 18th and has to play his second from underneath a tree. It is way long but Westwood is saved as the ball comes back off the legs of a spectator at the back of the green.

0100: Ernie Els ends with a bogey five after firing his approach long at the last. He is sitting on two over. Furyk lines up his par putt, commentator Ken Brown likens him to a reptile eying up an insect, but he misses and finishes the day with a bogey.

0056: Ouch, that's a costly one. Westwood pushes his putt and he is back on three under. He has to put that in the back of his mind now so that he does not do the same at the last.

"What a day for big Sandy, 20 years on. Well done."
Colin, Perth via text

0051: Mickelson sinks a four-footer at the last to card an opening 71. Just for your info, when he won the Masters in 2004 and 2006, he opened with rounds of 72 and 70. So there we are. Westwood thumps his putt uphill and he probably has a six-footer for par.

0047: Westwood fires his approach into 17 and it probably needed a club length more. He'll settle for a par.

0044: Westwood pars the 16th as he sends a downhill putt inches past the hole. It is getting pretty gloomy in Augusta but the nine players left out on the course should finish tonight.

"Regarding the 'never up, never in' comment, my mate always sings the House Of Pain song 'Jump Around' whenever anyone leaves a putt short. Makes me laugh every time."
John, Burton-on-Trent via text

0031: Great stuff from Westwood, the lad from Worksop claims a birdie and there are now three players sharing the lead. Casey sinks the par putt for an opening 71.

0028: Casey putts from off the green but it is misjudged and he now has a tricky one back for par.

0022: Don't go to bed just yet, please? Pour yourself another glass of Blue Nun - there could still be some British movement at the top of the leaderboard. Westwood has nailed his drive at the par-five 15th and a birdie is within reach. Casey goes through the green with his approach at the last.

0016: Casey drops a shot at the 17th and slips to one under while 2003 US Open champion Furyk moves to three under with a birdie at 15. Mickelson meanwhile, produces a superb save at the 16th after sinking a difficult uphill putt.

0013: The shadows are lengthening in Augusta and the BBC commentary team believe we have another hour of play. Westwood is in the last group and has completed 14 holes so there should be enough time for everyone to complete their rounds.

0007: Bit of an aaah moment at the 16th tee box. Mickelson hands a ball to a little girl who is sitting very patiently in the crowd. Wish my kids would sit as quietly as that.

0002: The normally cheerful Mickelson looks a little frustrated as he leaves a birdie putt short at the 15th. "Never up, never in" as they say. Casey goes a wee bit left at the 17th and has to punch the ball low to avoid the overhanging branches of a nearby tree.

2354: Westwood has a 12-foot putt for that eagle. Although it is short, he leaves it in the dustbin lid for a simple birdie. Just one shot behind Rose and Immelman now then.

"The word Golf was first mentioned in writing in 1457 on a Scottish statute on forbidden games as gouf,[1] possibly derived from the Scots word goulf (variously spelled) meaning "to strike or cuff". This word may, in turn, be derived from the Dutch word kolf, meaning "bat," or "club," and the Dutch sport of the same name. It is often claimed that the word originated as an acronym for "gentlemen only, ladies forbidden", but this is an urban legend.[2]

"Shame, sounded like such a great name for a sport!"
jonnymcsing on 606

"I've had fun today. I've had an annoying finish but other than that, level par for an old champion is not too bad."
Sandy Lyle

2345: Bit of a setback for Mickelson as he drops a shot at the 14th. Westwood meanwhile has an eagle chance at 13.

2342: Furyk has an eagle putt at the 13th but comes away with par after three putting. Can't really blame him though, his first attempt was at a right angle to the stick.

"Anyone think Brandt Snedeker looks like Prince Harry!?
From Scott in Windsor

2329: Brandt Snedeker slips back to three under after a long approach at the last puts him in trouble. He is unable to get up and down from the rough. Mickelson birdies the 13th despite his little difficulty and is now two shots off the lead.

2321: What a slice of luck for Mickelson. The left-handed Californian is forced to play his second shot with the ball below his feet and it is way short of the green. However, the ball does not find the wet stuff and he can play it from the rough. Casey fires a second straight birdie and joins Westwood, who birdies 11, on two under.

"Was reading something the other day about G.O.L.F. being an acronym for Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden, wondering if this is actually true? Come on Orly, do some sleuthing and earn your money!"
RebelArmyRedDevil on 606

Couldn't possibly comment on that I'm afraid, my wife might be reading! Anyone who has any ideas about whether this is true or not can get in touch via the usual channels.

2311: Casey is now on one under thanks to his second birdie of the day at the 13th.

"The golf course does suit my game to a large extent. I've become a good putter on fast greens and I hit irons high and soft."
Justin Rose

2301: Garcia claims a welcome birdie at the 13th to move to two over.

2258: Probably wary of sending the ball way past the hole, Immelman seems a bit tentative with his birdie putt at the last and the South African settles for a closing par. He opens up his campaign with a 68 - his second sub-70 round at the Masters.

"At 16 I just pulled my seven iron and had a poor drive on 17. It was a shame to finish like that because I did a lot of good things out there. I need to concentrate on the positives. The course was playing as nice as it's going to play."
Luke Donald

2254: Westwood is certainly having an entertaining day. He bogeys the 6th and 7th but claws the shots back with birdies at eight and nine.

2250: Immelman tonks his drive at the last and gives himself a real birdie chance with a fine approach to the green. Spaniard Sergio Garcia, resplendent in orange, is struggling on three over and misses an eagle putt at the 13th.

2241: Jim Furyk has moved to two under with birdies at the 6th and 8th. Paul Casey is on level through 12, together with Lee Westwood (8) and Vijay Singh (10). Snedeker moves into a share of the lead with a 10-foot birdie putt at the par-five 15th.

2234: Oh Sandy, don't do it to us. The Scot drops another shot at the 16th and is now on one under.

"Stephen Ames' teeth are frightening. They're whiter than a polar bear in the Antarctic wearing a Spurs shirt."
Anon via text on 81111

2226: Lyle does indeed drop a shot after that wayward iron into 15. He is now on two under. Brian Bateman ends his first Masters round with a birdie at the last for a three-under 69. Impressive start for the 2007 Buick Open winner.

2218: Rose finds sand at the last but manages to save par and he will be overjoyed with his 68. It is not his best opening round here though. In 2004 he carded a 67 and ended up tied for 22nd. Immelman moves to four under with a birdie at 15 and is close to moving into the outright lead at the next but he lips out.

2215: Lyle fires an approach to the 15th and it is about 30 yards too long. Odd one that. He could be dropping shots here.

"I didn't get anything going my way today. The way the golf course plays now you don't get low scores anymore. It is playing more like a US Open course than a Masters course."
Tiger Woods

2208: Nice putt from Woods at the last. He has the line right but the ball is short and a par means he cards a 72. It continues his run of never breaking 70 in his opening round at the Masters and with the way he has played today, he'll probably take that. To be just four off the lead without being anywhere near his best just shows the battling qualities of the world number one.

"'Dark Bend Enters' is an anagram of Brandt Snedeker. So not such a great name if preventing hooks or slices is your trade."
bunkerhopper on 606

2202: Harrington cards a two-over 74 after two bogeys in his final three holes. Rose pars the 17th to remain one shot clear while Woods is loose with an approach to the last but should claim par.

"Backed Immelman, hopefully he'll keep it together."
woodhatchboys on 606

Immelman has parred the last three holes and is three under after 14.

2150: Lyle saves par at the 13th from a tricky position after leaving his birdie putt well short. On the 17th, Woods produces a poor chip from the front of the green but still manages to grab a four. Donald drops another shot at the 17th and is one over now.

2142: American Brandt Snedeker, great name, moves to three under with a birdie at the 12th, his third in four holes. Tiger Woods looks in a spot of bother at the 17th but manages to drill a skimmer through the trees which almost puts him on the green. Superb. Mickelson hooks his tee shot at the 8th and finds sand.

2139: Zach Johnson has to settle for an opening-round 70 after a birdie putt at the last is agonisingly short. He joins Poulter in the clubhouse on two under. Rose's putt drifts to the right but he should be able to collect a par.

2136: Rose fires a nice-looking drive to the 16th pin although the ball keeps travelling away from the hole. Lee Westwood moves again to one under with a birdie three at the 5th while Paul Casey and Phil Mickelson both miss birdie putts.

2134: Thanks Hodgo. After a much-needed pie and chips - 'tis the law - I'm now ready for the evening push.

By Rob Hodgetts

2131: Defending champion Zach Johnson slips back to one under with a bogey on 17, while Boo "Good 'Ol Boy" Weekley eagles the 13th to get back to level.

2126: Phil Mickelson three-putts at the 6th to slide back to one under.

"Do you think Mickelson is aware that he looks like a pint of the black stuff?"
From Gusmctaggert on 606

Lovely stuff. By the way, team, the 606 message boards will open until 0100 BST so keep your chat going into the wee hours. We'll be here anyway.

Padraig Harrington is toiling and drops a shot at the short 16th to fall back to one over.

2122: Cinderella stuff as 1988 champion Sandy Lyle joins holder Zach Johnson and Trevor Immelman in second on three under after a birdie on the short 12th.

"Oi Hodgy (I'm trying it out), could I trouble you for an update on Harrington? Being a poor student 5 e/w is a big outlay for me..."
From RebelArmyRedDevil on 606

That's Mr Hodgy to you. The Open champion is level after 15 following birdies on two and 13 and a double on five.

"The Americans are showing Amen Corner live - why not BBC? "
Anon via text on 81111

Ahem, we are. On interactive via the red button and on this website. Follow the link at the top of the page.

2113: Anyone out there writing off Tiger Woods, you'd better get out your india rubber. The world number one chips in for eagle at the 15th to cancel out his previous two bogeys and climb to level par. All of a sudden the long face is replaced by fist-pumping and smiles.

2108: Luke Donald was cruising nicely at two under but plonks one in the water on the short 16th and runs up a double bogey to slip back to level par.

2100: Tiger Woods is having a very tough day at the office. He leaks back-to-back bogeys on 13 and 14 to slide to two over following a run of 12 straight pars. There's much chuntering and shaking of the head.

2055: South African Trevor Immelman joins Zach Johnson in second place on three under with a birdie on 11.

2049: Justin Rose slots in a nice birdie on the long 13th to take the outright lead at four under.

"Write Tiger off at your peril! Remember his 40 on the front 9 in his first Masters? He went on to win."
From MLSFootballSucks on 606

Wise words, my friend, wise words.

2048: Geoff Ogilvy fans might be slightly relieved to hear the Aussie has steadied the ship with two pars following a double at 10 and a bogey at 12. He's three over through 14.

2043: England's Lee Westwood lips out for eagle on the second but his birdie takes him to one under.

By Mark Orlovac

2039: It was always going to be difficult for Woods to save par after that mistake and he drops his first shot of the day as his 10-foot putt goes past the hole.

2035: Woods lashes out in frustration after making a complete horlicks of his approach to the 13th green. He thrashes his club in the air as the ball fails to grip and fires off the back of the green. His chip back is no better, hitting the edge of the green before rolling back into the rough. Donald drops a shot at the 14th and is back on one under.

2026: It's all happening now. Rose dabbles a tricky putt into the hole at 12 to join Johnson on three under. What a run from the 27-year-old, that's five birdies in seven holes.

2018: Zach Johnson is now the outright leader. He claims a birdie at the 13th and is now on three under. Donald is back to two under after claiming a shot at the same hole and is soon joined by Mickelson, who has a birdie-birdie start.

2011: Donald is still on one under after pars at 10, 11 and 12. Of the players just starting their rounds, there has not been a lot of movement so far. Retief Goosen (after 3), Sergio Garcia (4), Paul Casey (3) and Ernie Els (1) are all level par.

2006: Fiji's 2000 champion Vijay Singh bogeys the first and misses a chance to get a shot back at the next when his six-footer just trickles past the hole. Lyle drops a shot at the par-four 7th and is back to one under.

"I sense there is a bias of 'text' over 606. Justin Rose - get in there my son!"
From GoonerWinTheTreble on 606

Just to get a bit more balance.....

1959: Johnson does sink that putt on 12 to go to two under. Swede Robert Karlsson makes it five Europeans at the top of the leaderboard with birdies at 13 and 15.

1952: Phil Mickelson, Masters champion in 2004 and 2006, goes one under after claiming an extraordinary birdie at the first. 'Lefty' puts his approach into the crowd behind the green and looks for all the world as if his tournament is about to get off to a poor start. However, he decides to putt and the ball hits the pin and goes into the hole. If the flag wasn't there it would have rolled 40 feet past.

1949: Harrington and Rose par the 10th while Ames' birdie putt at the eighth goes just wide.

1946: Zach Johnson will surely join the leaders after a stunning tee shot at the 12th leaves the ball inches from the flag.

"Just scored four on the putting game, including a 62 footer. If video games are anything like real life, and in my experience, they are, then I could give Tiger, Poulter and the rest a run for their money.
Rick, Reading via text

1940: Wonderful stuff from Justin Rose, he claims four straight birdies from the 6th to storm into a share of the lead.

"Why are you being so negative about Tiger? It's as if you want him to fail. Please provide a neutral commentary and don't let your own favourites cloud the issue."
Anon, via text

Thanks for the message. I can assure you I do not want Tiger to fail, it's just that at the moment - by his standards - he is not playing that well. There is nothing sinister in my commentary, promise.

1929: Canada's Stephen Ames makes the group on two-under four players strong with a birdie at the 7th.

"Is there any chance you could give more updates on Harrington as he is the last European Major winner?"
sirbenson23 on 606

No problems, Harrington has parred the 7th, 8th and 9th and remains on one over.

1921: On the 9th green, Woods' long putt is bang on for distance but it is a fraction off line and the ball slips past the hole. Unlucky. That's nine pars in a row for Woods, steady as she goes for the four-time champion.

1916: Woods' approach to the pin at the 9th looks good enough but the slope and pace of the dancefloor does him and the balls rolls away a good distance from the hole. Lyle is now a co-leader on two under with another birdie at the 5th. Get in there son. Denmark's Soren Hansen claims shots at 3 and 4 to also join Poulter at the head of the field.

"Can you give us an update on Sandy Lyle as he is a former champion and the only Scottish player in the field?"
okkoki08 via 606

The 1988 champion is currently on one under after four holes - the birdie coming at the 3rd. Hope that is ok.

"Just drained a 57 footer at the 13th on the Amen Corner putting game, this game you call golf is easy."
From Nick in Bo'ness via text.

1901: Poulter is alone in the clubhouse on two under after parring the last. Woods putts from the short rough behind the green and the ball only just rolls onto the fringe - still cards a par though. Donald drops another shot at the 9th - he is now on one under. O'Meara drops a shot at the last to join him.

1857: Woods clatters his approach to the eighth green long and right. From his body language and the way he is muttering to himself, you can tell he is not a happy camper. But as my colleague has just said, he will still fire a 72 today before storming up the leaderboard over the weekend.

1851: Donald consolidates with a par at the par-five eighth. Justin Leonard, who was in that two-under group, drops a shot at 14.

1846: After his stunning effort at 16, Poulter slips back to two under after a bogey five at the 17th.

1840: Woods is not at the races at the moment. His approach at the 7th is probably a club-and-a-half too short but his chip to the rolls back nicely towards the hole and he claims the par.

"Are all the Brits wearing white tops and green trousers? Looks like it from the photos, perhaps there is some sort of bet going on between them!"
wentmat via 606

The colour of the Green Jacket is not too dissimilar to the dreadful blazer I had to wear at Beverley Boys' School, New Malden (circa 1984). We also had to wear a peaked cap of the same colour. Bad times.

1829: Woods manages to save par at the 6th, there are definitely no fireworks as yet, but his tee shot at the 7th goes into the fringes of the rough. Just in case you were wondering, Justin Rose is two over after five with the dropped shots coming at the 1st and 4th. Slocum is in the clubhouse with an opening-round 71.

1819: HOLE-IN-ONE ALERT. Poulter fires the first ace of the tournament, at the par-three 170-yard 16th, and takes the lead on three under. Kiss my face. Donald fails to get up and down from the sand and drops a shot. Welshman Ian Woosnam is on two under after birdies at two of his first three holes.

1813: Harrington pushes his birdie putt left and he'll have to settle for a three. You can only just see Donald's head above the lip of the bunker - you don't get sand like that at my local municipal - but he does manage to get out first time. However, he is left with a tricky downhiller. Woods is not firing at all at the moment. His tee-shot at the par-three 6th is nowhere near the pin and then it rolls and rolls down the slope.

1809: Donald is in a good position with his tee shot at the 7th but his second crashes into the bright white sand in front of the green. He'll be happy with par now. Harrington, who had a double bogey six at the 5th, gets a bit of luck at the par-three 6th after his tee shot rolls back off the rough and onto the green.

1805: Tiger fires his second shot into the 5th but the ball rolls onto the far side of the green. Doesn't look like a birdie chance here, although with this bloke you never know. Debutant Brian Bateman birdies the 2nd and 3rd and is now on two under while American left hander Steve Flesch also joins the group with a birdie at the 3rd.

1801: Donald sinks the putt on the 6th and the Englishman is now the outright leader on three under. There is a bit of a discussion in the office about how far it was and we have settled on eight feet. Justin Leonard gets close to a hole in one on the 12th, missing by inches.

1758: Just a quick update on Poulter, he is still on one under after parring 12, 13 and 14.

"Well done Poulter, Donald and Dougherty. Good start from our lads. I just get this awful sense of foreboding, even though it's only Thursday afternoon and I'm following it on my phone, that Tiger is on a mission this week."
Megadyl, Sheffield, via text

1751: Harrington finds himself in a bit of bother at the 5th. The ball is resting on the trampled down pathway and he fires a nice-looking iron shot into safety. It is well short of the green however. Elsewhere, Woods' putt goes close on the 4th, that's another par then, while Donald produces a wonderful tee shot at the par-three 6th.

1744: Woods is not happy with his tee shot at the 4th, unsurprising really - it is right and short. He seems to get an enormous slice of luck though as the ball looks as if it bounces on the lip of the bunker before trickling onto the green. Johnson sinks a lengthy birdie putt at the 5th to join Slocum (great name) and Donald on two under.

"Ben, your old headmaster here. I do not remember you working hard enough to apply to Oxbridge, so you cannot be an Oxbridge reject."
John Johnson via text

1738: Appleby birdies the 3rd and is now on one under while Woods makes it three pars in a row. Cabrera, the final member of the trio, cards a five to rejoin Woods on level par.

1734: Hello all. Ready for a fun-packed evening? Great stuff. Keep the texts and the 606 chat coming in, it's going to be a long night.

By Ben Dirs

1730: Right, I'm handing over to the eminent Mark Orlovac. Thanks for the company and all the silly emails and hope to see you in Vegas for the big one.

1728: A whole gaggle of players on one under, just lurking behind early leader Luke Donald of England. Two pearling approaches from Appleby and Cabrera at the par-four third, but Woods slightly over-cooks his.

1722: Fuzzy Zoeller is now nine over after 13. It's carnage out there folks: of the former champions, Player is eight over, Mize four over, Crenshaw two over and Couples one over. O'Meara's back to level par though.

1714: Tiger flips on at the second and he's got a putt for birdie. Open champion Padraig Harrington is one under after birdie at two and the field are really doing that hole some damage. Smashing bunker shot from Poulter at 12 and he should escape with a par. Woods misses out on birdie at the second, only par for the main man. O'Meara's been saying his prayers - back to even par at Amen Corner after back-to-back birdies at 11 and 12.

1710: Mark O'Meara, the champion in 1998, makes the first birdie of the day on 11 to move to one over. Poulter, magnificent in pastel green strides, pars the 11th. Tiger gives it some serious hammer on the second tee, and he'll expect his first birdie. England's Luke Donald grabs the outright lead with birdie at three.

1705: Magnificent approach from Donald on the third and he'll have a six-footer to take the outright lead. Defending champion Zach Johnson very nearly gets inside him. Gary Player and Fuzzy Zoeller are now both eight over.

1700: Tiger Woods makes his six-footer at the first, while US Open champion Angel Cabrera also makes par. Stuart Appleby of Australia, however, makes bogey.

1653: Wetterich drains his putt at the par-three 12th to get back to even par, and a hubbub passes through the office as Tiger strolls to the first and larrups his tee shot left. His approach is short and right, and his pitch leaves him a tricky six-footer for par. Luke Donald birdies the second to move to one under - lengthy putt that. But his compatriot Nick Dougherty falls back to one under after bogey at five. Olazabal, out of competitive golf for seven months, is also one under after a birdie at two.

1647: Peche de la peche from Slocum off the tee at 12 - plenty of right to left and he's all over the pin. Wetterich somehow gets inside his ball, but Fuzzy comes up short. The man to my left asks: "What would you give to play Augusta?" I reckon I'd be willing to give up one of my naff green blazers.

1643: More woe for three-time champion Gary Player - he's double-bogeyed seven to fall back to seven over. Olazabal has parred the first. Amen Corner on the website now and there's Brett Wetterich dropping back to one over after a double-bogey at 11.

1635: I have pictures of Amen Corner on my screen, they'll be up on the website soon. There's Tiger practicing his putting, he'll be off in 10. England's Luke Donald has just teed-off, and he's playing alongside defending champion Zach Johnson and the red-hot Geoff Ogilvy of Australia.

1631: 'Oxbridge reject'? (see below) Are you pulling my plonker? Right, who can think of a nickname for early leader Heath Slocum? Fuzzy Zoeller drops to six over after 10 - the 1979 champion has had bogeys at one, six and 10 and double bogeys at three and nine. England's Nick Dougherty has the outright lead! Slocum drops shots at nine and 10 - the turn proving brutal.

"How disappointing to find Oxbridge reject Ben Dirs covering the Masters. Is it not enough that he has thoroughly ruined online cricket commentary? How much more fog required until we have an infantile competition to come up with a nickname for early leader Heath Slocum?"
Disappointedly, Jon Ruffell via text

1626: No idea what's happening with the Amen Corner coverage, even the official Masters website hasn't got it up and running yet. I'll keep you posted. Freddie Couples is on course, and the 1992 champion is one over after a bogey at the first.

"Ben, this text has nothing to do with The Masters, but did you used to live in Pinner? If so, hello, and thank your Mum and Dad for helping out my parents many years ago when they had a car crash."
Gavin via text

1618: Slocum has had a stumble! Dropped shot at nine, but he's out in 34. Jose Maria Olazabal's next on tee, and he's won this ruddy thing twice. Bootle's Nick Dougherty joins Slocum on two under after birdies at two and three. Poulter holding firm at one under after eight.

"If 'anon' wants to criticise so bitterly at least he could be man enough to give us his name."
Anon, London, via text

1610: The par-five second is clearly a 'fill your boots' hole - Nick Dougherty has birdied it to move to one under and two off the lead. When did a sit-com actress last sit at the top of the Masters leaderboard, asks Pete in Preston. It's a very good question. Augusta is making a monkey of a few players already - Player, Zoeller and Micheel all at five over, and Player has only completed five holes.

1600: Heath Slocum moves to three under! Birdie at eight, he's ripping Augusta a new hole. Extraordinary outburst from Anon, below, who has wasted 2p on a text message when anyone who knows anything about anything knows that the chaps at the Masters don't allow anyone to broadcast until Amen Corner kicks in. We'll have our video coverage on the front page presently, I think Ben Curtis and Shaun Micheel are on the 10th now.

"I can't get coverage anywhere on tv, or the internet. The BBC really have to sort this out or risk losing to Sky and Setanta."
Anon via text

1555: South African legend Gary Player is now four over par after a bogey at the par-three fourth. England's Nick Dougherty is under way, and he's parred the first. This Camillo Villegas looks like an interesting fellow. Colombian, and a handsome so and so - People magazine recently voted him one of the Sexiest Beasts Alive.

"Just backed Camillo Villegas each way at 200/1. The Observer golf correspondent reckons he has inside info on him, and I'm sufficiently gullible to believe him."
Anon, via text

1549: Heath Slocum is holding firm at the top of the leader board - he pars the seventh to remain two under. Fans of risque 1970's British humour will be pleased to hear that the 'pussy' gags are flooding into the inbox, and I can't publish a single one of them.

1543: Anon has just texted in to point out that BBC golf pundit and former USPGA champion Wayne Grady looks like the BFG. What more can I say?

"I've abandoned plastic surgery and gone for the direct route of looking like John Daly, cracking a ball 350 yards and doing a bottle of JD a day."
Trevor Reading, via text

1537: I'm in rather a morbid mood today. If you were a pro golfer, what would you have on your gravestone? I think I'd plump for: "Here lies Ben Dirs - a magnificent lover and very handy with a seven iron." Gareth Radcliffe of Worksop has bunged 66/1 on fellow Worksopian Lee Westwood, based, it would appear, on the fact he once saw him wolfing down a steak and kidney pie, large chips and a battered sausage down Chris and Bill's chippy. As good a system as any I'd say.

"Does Craig Stadler wear cashmere?"
Tim, London, via text

1527: Heath Slocum has taken the lead courtesy of birdies at four and six. Slocum hails from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which sounds a lot better than coming from Barking, Essex. It looks pretty tough out there folks - already eight of the 23 players out on the course are over par.

1519: Lots of betting chat pouring in. Richard in Windsor has had a punt on Bubba Watson, "because the course is playing extra long", while Tim Williams has irritated me by backing Ernie Els at 33/1. Pony-tailed Spaniard Miguel-Angel Jimenez joins the throng on one under par after a birdie at the par-five second. People seem to be filling their boots at that hole...except Gary Player, who carded a seven to drop to three over. I heard a good quote the other day: "The older I get, the better I was." When I get to 75, my grandkids might even think I led an interesting life.

1512: Bernard Parkinson (see below), you raise a very interesting point. If you could have plastic surgery to look like any golfer, who would you choose? I think I'd be Colin Montgomerie, just so I could sit on the sofa and stroke my man mounds through a cashmere sweater.

1508: Hitchin's Ian Poulter makes the first move of the day - a birdie at the par-five second. Heath Slocum birdies the par-three fourth, and O'Meara wants a piece of the action atop the leader board - he birdies the third.

"A girl in my office has had surgery to make her look like Venus Williams. The oddest thing is, she's white. Well, orangeish, due to all the sunbeds."
Bernard Parkinson, Bonnyrig, via text

1458: Who said getting rid of emails and relying on texts would lead to a fall in standards? Robert Clark of Gourock - genius. Gary Player's on the course and he passes Arnold Palmer's record of 50 Masters appearances this year. Winner in 1961 (before I was born), 1974 (before I was born) and 1978 (when I was kicking it in Newbury Park). "The more I practice, the luckier I get" said Player once. Anyone seen that Eastenders advert with Patsy Palmer and her family doing Jackson 5? I just saw it and had a little sick.

"My mate Ross has two quid on Scott Verplank at 125/1, cos he wears a manly wristband."
Robert Clark, Gourock, via text

1448: David Nash texts to say he's just backed Lee Westwood at 60/1. I've got Ernie Els - tenner each way at 22/1. Touch. Larry Mize is out and about and he won himself a Green Jacket in 1987. Aren't those Green Jackets ruddy awful? They look like something you'd find at the back of a cornet player's wardrobe. Mize makes bogey at one. Zoeller's already two over after three, while Micheel is in free-fall - already four over after four. Pictures in of Venus Williams strolling the course with her chap. What a woman.

"I used to hate Sundays as a 12-year-old until That's Life did an article about rude shaped vegetables."
David Atkinson, 45, Edinburgh via text

1438: The first Englishman is out on the course - Ian Poulter has made par at hole number one. Poulter, who the Americans refer to as World Number Two after his rather unfortunate "it will just be me and Tiger" comments, is stepping out with 1998 champion Mark O'Meara and Trip Kuehne. O'Meara, a big buddy of Woods, made par, amateur Kuehne made bogey.

1432: Curtis pars the second, but playing partner Shaun Micheel falls back with a dropped shot. I'd like to make a joke about the fact that I couldn't see how he dropped his shot because of the fog, but the fact is I'm in an office in White City looking at a leader board, which, frankly, is a bit peculiar.

1429: Fuzzy has dropped a shot at the first, as has Brett Wetterich, who shared the lead after rounds one and two on his Masters debut last year.

1419: Hello! Ben Curtis and Shaun Micheel, both major winners in 2003, have just completed the first hole. They both got pars! News in that the one-hour delay means it's touch and go whether the last group - Lee Westwood among them - will finish before darkness. Sir Fuzzy of Zoellershire, Masters champion in 1979, is in the next group.

"Ritzy's back in the 90's in Norwich. We always done a special dance to Gina G and got drunk on Hoffmeister. Good times."
Gareth Williams, Norfolk, via text

By Pranav Soneji

1407: So my time entertaining you all has come to a rapid end, thanks to all who contributed and those who didn't (you know who you are). The three-wood that is Ben Dirs will be your guide this afternoon. Adios and goodnight.

"A couple of years ago (2004), the legend that is (Miguel Angel) Jimenez was looking to challenge with the back nine on Sunday to play, so we'd all decided to wear dodgy ginger wigs with ponytails and smoke large cuban cigars. We missed most of the back nine due to the smoke and unfortunately Jimmy's challenge went up in smoke too! Come on Jimmy, Sergio, Henrik S and the GOOOOOSE in 2008!"gilberto5

I don't think there is ever a moment where a ginger wig is inappropriate at any stage in life.

1354: It's all going ballistic on the Amen Corner putting corner game on texts and 606, with PUSB-Pete setting the benchmark with a six, claiming his efforts were 30 minutes well spent. Unfortunately it's slightly less eventful out in Augusta. Maybe we should get a live feed of PUSB-Pete's antics on the computer game to keep us entertained.

1348: I suspect our contributors on text and 606 have been exclusively male - at the risk of sounding like the DJ at Ritzy's in Norwich on a Saturday night, any ladies in the house?

"I shot an eight on Amen Corner yesterday. It took me two hours of practice. Back in the 80s (can't remember exact year), I was charged with after hours drinking in a pub watching the Masters. Missed the end of it, Baaaah."
diamondDonS on 606

"Just had a call off best mate at Heathrow, who has managed to bag a free trip to Augusta off one of his customers while I'm stuck at work. Best mate status now being reviewed."
Saul, Manchester on TEXT 8111

"With two inches of rain a couple of days ago, the course is playing alot longer. Don't forget, Tiger can be dodgy with his driver. Carn't wait for it, chuffed to bits a major is here! Gave the misses ample time to re-arrange the weekend!"
Dunnystars on 606

1338: The early morning fog has put the kybosh on the starters, so Tiger Woods will be teeing off at 1625 BST at the earliest. More news when we get it.

1333: One of my colleagues has just hit nine on the Amen Corner putting game, please try your best to beat his score:

"Harrington is a shoe-in for a top five finish and Nick Dougherty could well be a player at a massive price. Has everyone forgot his great finish in last year's US Open?
Adam in Bristol on TEXT 81111

1324: I was earlier regaling/boring you all about my Sandy Lyle experience as a 12-year-old in 1988, escaping the strict 10pm schoolnight embargo set from my vigilant parents to sneak the back nine on TV. Anyone else have equally interesting/utterly pointless Sunday night stories?

1318: Some news from Augusta - the start has been delayed by 20 minutes. There has been early morning mist, although that hasn't stopped Arnold Palmer from smashing the ceremonial tee shot ("an absolute belter", according to BBC golf correspondent Iain Carter) down the middle of the first fairway.

"I was at the Masters last year - four days of heaven! They don't pack the course like they do for events over here and they don't gouge you for food and drink - in fact the prices haven't changed for about five years. My bookie is offering Freddie Couples at 90/1, must be worth an each way?"
Togo4theCup on 606

1308: A little confession - I'm not actually watching the coverage on television because we have absolutely zilch in the office - along with everyone else in the UK - so I will be taking the scores from the official Masters website. However, from 1500 BST onwards, we will have coverage of Amen Corner on the BBC Sport website and on interactive TV via the red button. Our television coverage begins at 2100 BST. But that doesn't give you an excuse for not getting involved, OK?

"Mark my words, Ben Curtis at 500-1 is the value bet of the century. Each way boys!"
Richard III on TEXT 81111

1257: 2003 was a good year for both Shaun Micheel and Ben Curtis. Micheel won the PGA Championship while Curtis came from nowhere and filled his boots to win The Open at Sandwich. The pair will get the 2008 Masters under way very, very shortly.

1251: The legend that is Peter Alliss - who will be part of the BBC commentary team in Augusta has done a rather nifty guide to the Georgian bijou:

"100-1 for Anders Romero has got to be worth a flutter!"
"Tommy in sunny Glasgow writing a marketing essay on globalisation on Text 81111

"Nobody has mentioned the Azaleas, The Butler Cabin or Ballesteros dumping his second into the water at the 15th when poised for another win! Who will win? Who cares! It's THE Rolls Royce event of Golf. Sit back and enjoy! But come on Paddy, I've got a bluey on ya!"
Lordy5cups on 606

Great name, I wonder if Tiger has considered a Woodsy5jackets as a 606 moniker?

1235: Here's one for all you stat fans (I hear ya). My colleague Jamie Lilywhite observes that when Nick Faldo won the second of his green jackets in 1990, the course measured a total of 6,905 yards. In the next 15 years that had grown to 7,445, the equivalent of adding an extra regulation par-five hole.

"Paul Casey seems to have sneaked into Augusta under the radar this year, 80/1!!"
Gordon, Kintore on Text 81111

Get your cash out boys and girls, that's gotta be worth a punt.

"Everybody is buzzing ready for the off! It's like being a kid ready to go to Disneyland!"
ParTeeLennyD on 606

"It would be nice if he (Tiger) played ordinary and made it a close tournament up until the back nine on Sunday."
Subpar on 606

Amen (Corner, sorry) Subpar, I hear you loud and clear. I'll always remember watching the tremendous finish in 1988 when Sandy Lyle's bunker shot par excellence as a 12-year-old, giggling with utter delight in the knowledge that:

1) The shot had won him the tournament and
2) I had sneaked out of bed to watch the ball roll towards the pin because it was a schoolnight. Life was great.

1216: Woods this, Woods that, you'd think this tournament was all about one man. OK, so he's won seven out of eight tournaments this year, but does that mean he's 11-8 favourite for his fifth green jacket? Errr, yes. Get yourselves involved with the Masters chat via 606 or text 81111 with the word 'GOLF' before your message. Anyone - apart from Tiger - who can rip this long Augusta course to shreds?

1211: Four-time Masters champion Arnold Palmer will officially launch the start of the tournament with a ceremonial tee shot. The 78-year-old won a "nearest the pin" prize in a pre-tournament tournament on Wednesday, good to see "The King" has still got it.

1202: I'm trembling with tee-off excitement already. Ben Curtis and Shaun Micheel will get the show on the road at 1300 BST.1200: Amen Corner, Rae's Creek, Hogan Bridge, Tiger's Woods - OK, I made that last one up, but is there anything more incredibly jaw-droppingly perfect in golf as Augusta come Masters time? I think not. Welcome to the 2008 US Masters.


see also
Quotes of the day
10 Apr 08 |  Golf
Masters day one photos
10 Apr 08 |  Golf
Masters leaderboard
10 Apr 08 |  Golf
Ken Brown's Augusta preview
07 Apr 08 |  Golf
Tom and Ben explore Augusta
06 Apr 08 |  Golf


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