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Masters day one as it happened


Chad Campbell led the Masters as the first round yielded low scores aplenty in perfect conditions at Augusta.

Campbell, 34, surged to nine under, before two late bogeys left him with a seven-under 65, one ahead of fellow Americans Jim Furyk and Hunter Mahan.

Tiger Woods was in decent shape five shots off the lead, and one adrift of leading Europeans Padraig Harrington, Ross Fisher and Graeme McDowell.

Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia both disappointed with rounds of 73.


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By Ben Dirs

0027: Right, that's that for the day. A very entertaining day's play, with a few more cheers than we've become accustomed to in recent years because of the generosity of the Augusta committee and some spangling weather. Woods lurking five shots off the lead, his game looks in serious nick. It's going to be some day on Friday...

0024: Kim's birdie putt slides by the hole to the right, and he's in for a par and a round of 75. Big stones from McIlroy, who bends in his 20-footer for par - he must have nudged out from somewhere - and a round of 72. Ishikawa hits the final shot of the day, and it's a putt for birdie and a round of 73.

0020: Here come the kids bringing up the rear: Kim finds the back of the green with his second, but he's trumped by Ishikawa, who puts his approach to within six feet. McIlroy doesn't do bad either, and he'll have a 20-footer for birdie.

0018: Great putt back up the hill from Woods, but he still hasn't broken 70 in the first round at the Masters... mind you, he's won it three times after a first-round 70... in goes Cink for a 10-foot birdie and he finishes on three under par. Jeev Milkha Singh is short of pace with his par putt and he's in with a 71.

0012: Tiger's ball is jammed behind the leg of a chair, and when Tiger goes to investigate, some chap's still sat there. The chair is almost surgically removed, the blades of grass beneath Tiger's ball are counted, and eventually the big man plays his shot... and it's a load of old rubbish. Far too heavy and his ball has ended up about 40 feet away at the front of the green. I jinxed him...

0010: McIlroy made birdie at 16 to get back to evens, and sinks his par putt at 17 to remain there. Jeev Milkha Singh sprays his escape from the pine straw long at 18. Cink's all over the pin with his approach at 18, he'll have a 15-footer for birdie. But that's not too clever from Woods, he plonks his second over the back and into the gallery.

Trevor Immelman

Highlights - Immelman chips in on the 14th

0002: Woods has never broken 70 on the first day of the Masters, but he's going to do so today. He's just biffed his drive straight down the middle.

2358: Stewart Cink with a long birdie putt across the green at 17... and it comes up just a few feet short. He taps in for par. That's a pearler from Kiwi Danny Lee - lofted second into the 18th green and he'll have a six-foot birdie putt for a round of 73. Jeev Milkha Singh may have a swing that looks like it's been put together by committee, but he's a decent player - he makes his birdie putt and is two under. Woods, however, misses what looked like a straight one and stays three under.

2351: Perry with a three-footer for a par at 18 and a round of 68. Woods is all of a sudden looking in very ominous form - he parachutes his approach into the 17th within six feet of the pin and he'll have a putt to move to four under. The only way anyone apart from Woods is going to win this Masters is if someone slips some exploding balls in his bag before kick-off tomorrow.

"I hope on Sunday night it comes down to Woods and Harrington. We know Paddy has been the man since Tiger has been injured. I would love a showdown!"
Mark Grehan via text on 81111

2347: McIlroy with a fine tee shot at 16, the ball landing in the guts of the green and falling back down to within 10 feet of the hole. Danny Lee, the 18-year-old from New Zealand, drains a lengthy birdie putt at 17 to move to two over before whip-cracking his drive straight down the middle at the last. Perry misses to the left with his birdie putt at 18.

Tiger Woods

Highlights - Woods on the 11th

2342: Tiger's birdie attempt at 16 just stays up and he stays three under. Perry with a good chance of birdie at the last for a round of 67. The best driver in the game at the moment, says the BBC's Wayne Grady. Stewart Cink, emplying the 'claw' grip, makes par at 16 to stay two under. Immelman's birdie putt at 17 has a look left, but is afraid of the dark and refuses to drop.

2339: Brandt Snedeker, who played in Sunday's final pairing last year, makes birdie at 18 but that's a round of 76. Plenty of work to do tomorrow. Immelman with a super draw into the 17th - he'll have a 10-footer for a fourth straight birdie. Have a look at Rob Hodgett's latest blog - he's been chatting with Beefy.

2335: Here's Olazabal in a green-side trap at 18, and he looks genuinely disappointed when his escape finishes two feet short of the cup. Par for a round of 71. Kenny Perry with a good save at 17 to remain four under.

I played terrible - Mickelson

2331: Woods is super-charged now - he somehow gets his tee shot at 16, a hole of 170-odd yards, to spin back towards the hole. He'll have a six-footer or so for birdie. Kim's come over all Seve today - he looks to bend his approach round the trees at 15, with pretty good success. The 606 boards have closed for the evening by the way, but you can still text in.

2328: Kenny Perry, on his first visit since 2005, misses the green with his second at 17. He's four under, but, like everyone else it seems, the final few holes are giving him fits. Immelman moves to one under with his third birdie in a row at 16.

2325: Woods for eagle at 15, but it's my no means a gimme... and indeed, it comes up short. No mistake with the birdie effort and he's now three under and very much in the frame.

2319: Here's a fact to make some of you feel old: Ryo Ishikawa, who is currently three over after 14, is just 17. That's the same age as some of my dad's pants. The combined age of Ishikawa and his playing partners McIlroy and Kim is less than Gary Player's age... zzzzzzz...

2317: Defending champion Immelman gets back to level par with a birdie at 15 to go with a birdie at 14. Jeev Milkha Singh squirts his approach long and right at 15. Woods only needs a mid-iron for his second at the par-five 15th, and he's all over the pin - he'll have a 15-footer for eagle.

2312: Woods gives it some rat-a-tat-tat off the tee box at 15, as Hunter Mahan misses his lengthy par putt at 18 to slip back to six under and a share of second. Zach Johnson, champion in 2007, made birdies at 15 and 16 and is three under after 17.

2308: Mahan's recovery at 18 comes up short and he's struggling to make par. Plenty of players have made a hash of this hole today. Peter Alliss spots a baby owl cowering in a tree, and that is like presenting the great man, the finest proponent of anthropomorphism since Johnny Morris, with a two-footer for par.

Harrington 'happy enough' with Masters start

2305: Woods rattles one in from 20 feet at 14 for his second successive birdie. He's two under now and he's got the par-five 15th coming up. Garcia has a chat with the BBC's Shane O'Donoghue. He looks like he's just killed his dog with a slice off the tee.

2300: Kenny Perry plops in for birdie at 15 to move to five under. Thirty-seven under-par rounds so far today, which breaks the previous record of 35 set in 1992.

2257: Casey leaves his lengthy par putt high at 18 and he finishes with a 72. Still in the hunt, but he needs some early birdies tomorrow. Anthony Kim misses by a couple of feet with his eagle putt at 13 - he's well off the pace at three over. Mahan balloons his second at 18 well long.

2254: Immelman chips in at 14 for birdie. Not been a happy day for the defending champion, he's one over. Two-time champion Ben Crenshaw comes up six feet short with his birdie putt at 18 and he'll have a tricky one for a round of 73.

2250: A very honest appraisal from Phil Mickelson, who admits he "played terrible" and that the course was "there for the taking". Oliver Wilson of Mansfield is in for a 73.

"On the Pearl & Dean theme - just given it a spin, and it's definitely the final chord that's the confusion. It sounds as though it goes up, because the highest note in the final chord is higher than the preceding sustained note in the melody. But there's definitely a lower note in that chord as well. There's a vocal line there, barely noticeable over the bombast at the end though much clearer earlier, and THAT goes down at the end, but is drowned out by the higher trumpet sting."
ShinyDavidHowell on 606
Join the debate on 606

2245: Tiger's lengthy eagle putt at 13 comes up short, but he'll have a short one for birdie. Campbell for par from six feet at 18... and he's stiffed it for bogey. Very nervy, but that's still some round - 65 and the clubhouse lead at seven under. Woods makes birdie to move to one under, while playing partner Singh drains a 15 foot eagle putt to jump to two under. No practice swing on the greens from the Indian, which, at Augusta, is rather like taking a bite out of a McDonald's apple pie without blowing on it first.

2240: Aaron Baddeley put a very decent round together today, a 68 for the Australian who's been remodelling his swing. Campbell finds the left edge of the green with his fairway bunker escape at 18. Woods safely on in two at the par-five 13th. Casey makes up a stroke, bending in a birdie putt from six feet at 17. The Englishman is one under.

2235: McIlroy's birdie attempt holds it line before veering off to the right. He stays one over after 12. Olazabal drops a shot at the 14th to drop back to two under. Hunter Mahan is buzzing - I repeat, buzzing - that's his fourth birdie in a row at 16 and he's seven under.

2230: Chad Campbell, as you might have expected, has been unable to keep his motor running until the very last - he clatters his second at 18 into a green-side bunker.

2225: Rory McIlroy gets them roaring with a heat-seeking pitch at 11 and taps in to stay one over. Tiger stays even par through 12 after missing with another birdie putt. Casey makes a disappointing bogey at 16 to drop back to level par. Hunter Mahan is tearing the place up - six under after a birdie at 15.

2222: "One of the disappointing things about playing the Masters is not being able to sit on the couch and watch it," says Graeme McDowell, who looks like he's got his feet in a bowl of cider vinegar as he chats, legs splayed, to Gary Lineker. Chad Campbell slips up at 17 - he finds a trap with his second and requires three more strokes, slipping to eight under.

Fisher 'reasonably' happy with opening round

2220: Woods parachutes his approach into the heart of the 12th green. Anthony Kim's gone jungle, slashing out of the pine straw at 11 and onto the fringe of the green.

2216: Case the Ace leaves his birdie putt just high at 15, but Hunter Mahan is on the charge - birdies at 13 and 14 and he's five under. Good on you Ollie - he makes birdie at 13 to move back to three under. Seve's birthday today, this round's for the old magician.

2210: Campbell makes par at 17 to remain nine under. On your visit to 606 land, you will also marvel at the fact that people can get so fabulously irate at someone putting the word "British" before "Open". Tiger leaves his curling putt just high at 11 to stay level. Jeev Milkha Singh feathers in from 10 feet for par - he too is level.

2205: That could be shot of the day so far - Woods flays out of pine straw, threads his ball between some trees and lands his ball on the front of the 11th green. Bri via text, I have published one user comment in two hours because they're all having a row on 606 about whether McIlroy is British or not. "Maybe the Pearl & Dean music includes a chord at the end that goes both up and down," says the man to my left.

2201: Campbell is all over the pin with his tee shot at 16, but he'll have a slippery one for birdie. McDowell leaves a curler high at the 18th to finish bogey-bogey and with a round of 69. Apologies, McIlroy bogeys 10 and drops to one over.

2157: If you want to join in one of the most pointless arguments since I had a row with a friend about whether the Pearl & Dean music goes up or down at the end, go on the 606 messageboards. Remarkable scenes. Cracking recovery from McIlory, he should get away with a par at 10. Campbell is in for yet another birdie at 15...

2153: Birds chirruping away, the old azaleas pretty in pink, what a picture Augusta is today, it looks like it's been put together by a gang of master cake-makers. Or indeed Oompa-Loompas. McIlroy overcooks his chip at 10 and he'll have nasty little shot coming back. Woods has sprayed his tee shot at 11, he's in the pine straw.

2148: Campbell pulls out his rescue club - any ideas how you hit those things? - and goes over the back with his second at 15. Woods leaves his birdie putt high at the 10th.

2143: Campbell pulls out the big stick and gives it some clatter at the par-five 15th. Defending champion Trevor Immelman is staring a missed cut in the face at this rate, he's two over after 10. Bogey for McIlroy at the par-five 8th and he's back level. His countryman Graeme McDowell shaves the hole with his par putt at the par 17th and drops back to four under.

2141: Chad Campbell is, as our friends in the East End might say, mugging Augusta right off - he's made an eight-footer disappear on 14 to move two clear on eight under. Super shot from Casey, feather-dustering a chip shot to within a few feet at 13 and popping in for a birdie.

2133: Chad Campbell is gunning for that course record of 63, jointly held by Nick Price and Greg Norman - another doozy of an approach at 14, he's got another birdie chance. "If Freddie Couples came back as a dog, he'd be a big, black labrador," says Peter Alliss. Ken Brown would no doubt be a Red Setter. Mad as a box of frogs.

2129: Tiger, remember, was out in 40 in 1997, and ended up winning by 12, so fans of his needn't start worrying. His birdie putt at 9 wipes its feet before disappearing. Out in 36. Tremendous tee shot from McDowell at 16 and he's in for a two. The Northern Irishman is five under, two off the lead.

2125: New leader - Chad Campbell makes his six-footer at 13 to move to seven under. Larry Mize, the 1987 champion, is in with a five-under 67, as Woods thrashes his second at the 9th to within a few feet. Birdie chance.

2118: Not the greatest of starts for Spain's Sergio Garcia, he bogeyed 16 and 18 to finish on one over par. He'll need a fine round tomorrow to make the cut. Matt, Wiltshire (see below), an interesting point, especially considering no one on here has mentioned a "British challenge" all day.

"Can someone please tell me why no one refers to Rory McIlroy as being part of the British challenge? Last time I checked Northern Ireland used sterling."
Matt, Wiltshire, on 606
Join the debate on 606

2114: Splendid approach by Chad Campbell at 13, he'll have a six-footer to take the outright lead. Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell moves to four under after a birdie four at 15. The wind has picked up slightly, which could affect scoring for the players going out late.

2111: Me again, and I can bring you the good news that McIlroy has birdied the 7th to go one under. Geoff Ogilvy, many tipsters fancy, made bogey at 17 and 18 to finish one under. Woods remains well off the pace after a mis-read at 8.

2109: It's all very American this leaderboard. Of the five players on six or five under, only one (Katayama) hails from somewhere else. Woods still one over after seven, by the way.

2106: Soren Kjeldsen is in a bit of trouble at the 13th. But he plays an awkward fourth shot over the creek and looks well set to save par now. He's three over overall so needs things "to happen".

2104: As Ben departs for an important "screen break", I, Oliver Brett, can report that Chad Campbell has joined his fellow American Jim Furyk atop the Masters leaderboard with a nerveless six-foot birdie putt at 12.

2102: We have lift-off on BBC Two... Amen to that...

2058: Casey's birdie putt breaks to soon at 11 and he remains even par. Rory McIlroy is still grinding out the pars, the Northern Irishman is level after 6. Tiger Woods pars the 7th to stay one over, seven off the lead.

2053: Angel Cabrera is in with a four-under 68 - six birdies, two bogeys. Ian Poulter's had two birdies at 13 and 14 to climb to two under. Chad Campbell isn't far off acing the par-three 12th - his birdie blitz is long since over, but he's holding his position. Jim Furyk is our new clubhouse leader on six under after a sizzling 66, including six birdies and not a dropped shot in sight.

2049: Couples, with that drooling swing of his, lobs on at 13. Here's Paul Casey - I've got money on this lad - and that's a peach of a second to within 10 feet at 11.

2045: Harrington is in with a more than respectable 69 - out in 35, back in 34, he's three off the lead. Ernie Els has got it all to do on day two to make the weekend - he's in with a 75. England's Justin Rose had probably the most extraordinary round of the day - three double-bogeys and he still managed a 74.

2040: Sergio's little charge comes to an end at the par-three 16th - bogey, and he drops back to level. Andres Romero - remember him from the 2007 Open? - drains a flighty 20-footer at 11 to move to two under.

2033: Tiger's rather meowing his way round Augusta at the moment, five straight pars followed by a bogey five at 6. We have a new leader: Jim Furyk has made his fourth straight birdie at 17 and is six under. "BOOOOOOOOO!" The first sighting of that fat chap who thinks his driver is a horse. His approach at 11 goes awry, but that's one of the shots of the day, his recovery dribbling to within a couple of feet.

2028: World number two Phil Mickelson, fancied by so many to do some damage this week, is stuck in second gear at the moment - he's bogeyed 16 to drop back to one over. Where did Ernie Els' big game go? The South African is four over with one hole to play.

2025: Two-time champion Ben Crenshaw is out in 35... amateur Jack Newman joins the growing list of players going long and left off the tee at 12. He won the US Amateur Public Links championship in 2008.

2021: The trio of Langer, Norman and Westwood are already plumbed in at the bar and they'll be drinking soundly - all three with rounds of 70. Ollie on the charge! He's tearing up the front nine and is three under after 7. Woods remains level after 5, McIlroy remains level after 4. Second successive birdie from Garcia at 15 and he's under for the first time today.

2017: Jim Furyk - the Iain Duncan-Smith of world golf - cards his third birdie in a row at 16 to move into a five under and a four-way share of the lead, along with Larry Mize, who's birdied the 14th.

2012: Freddie Couples - what's the fact the bloke down the pub always dredges up about him? - leaves his approach out right at 11 after some in-depth natter with his caddie. Hunter Mahan, the 26-year-old from Orange, California, moves to four under with his third successive birdie at 8.

2009: Australia's Adam Scott, who has tumbled to 22nd in the world rankings after an indifferent start to 2009, is two under after 5. Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell makes a 15-footer at the par-three 12th to move to three under.

2004: Perhaps Garcia can get something going down the stretch - birdie at 14 to get back to level par. Woods making a typically low-key start, four pars out of four. Rory McIlroy is level after three. Chad Campbell is out in 31...

2001: News of Padraig - the Irishman has dropped a shot at the par-five 15th and dropped back to two under. The trio of Langer, Norman and Westwood are all two under with one to play.

1957: Tiger has parred the third, and we've got only one man in the 80s so far today - New Zealand's Michael Campbell carded 80, while Zoeller, Floyd and Player all ducked under. That's a fine clutch putt from Poulter at 12, that was further away than I thought.

1953: Poulter - for his sake I hope that's the receipt for his trousers hanging out his back pocket - skulks in the pine straw to the rear of the 12th before nudging a chip to within a few feet. Larry Mize, the 1987 champion, is four under after another birdie at 13. Katayama has stolen the clubhouse lead from Tim Clark - a round of 67 for the Japanese player.

1948: Chad Campbell pars the 7th to remain tied for the lead on five under and Geoff Ogilvy has picked up three birdies in four holes to move to three under. Ian Poulter of England goes long with his tee shot at 12. He's currently being out-trousered by Aaron Baddeley, whose strides appear to be made of that hologram material that reveals different pictures when you tilt it slightly.

1944: Spanish cigar chomper Miguel Angel Jimenez, who only took up golf at the age of 15, is in with a 70. Many thanks to Moon on 606 for rather priggishly pointing out I've made a couple of mistakes... oh, I'd give up a couple of pars in my next round to see you in my chair...

1937: Garcia looks a bit flat out there, and his birdie putt at 13 comes up short. He was forced to lay up. McIlroy has parred the second, Anthony Kim makes birdie. Argentina's 2007 US Open champion Angel Cabrera birdies 15 to move to four under.

1935: Woods has parred the second, Katayama has made bogey at 17 to drop back to four under and a share of second. Sweden's Ryder Cupper Henrik Stenson is putting together a very handy round - birdies at 12, 13 and 14 and he's three under.

1928: Everyone out now, and Tiger Woods has parred the 1st - he had a 25-footer for birdie - as have Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and Anthony Kim of the United States. An hour and a half before the BBC start showing carpet coverage and I become pretty much superfluous to your needs. SORRY, WOODS PARRED THE 1ST!

1925: Greg Norman has made birdie at 15, as indeed has playing partner Bernhard Langer - they're both two under. Lee Westwood, however, bogeyed the hole and is one under. Missed opportunity for Mickelson, whose makeable birdie putt slides by the hole at 13. He's evens.

1922: Garcia makes that bogey putt on 12 to fall back to one over. Tiger has set sail, but I have no idea how he's getting on back on the 1st, we've still only got pictures of Amen Corner. Jim Furyk's snaking birdie putt at 13 comes up short and he'll stay two under.

"Hey Ben, any sign of that guy, you know, he's meant to be quite good. Tiger someone...?"
Anon via text on 81111

1916: Harrington makes his short putt for birdie at 13, he's now three under. Mickelson escapes from the pine straw at 13 and he'll have a little lob-on after that. Chad Campbell's remarkable run comes to an end - merely a par at the 6th.

1912: To the 13th green, which resembles Table Mountain. Harrington's got a twisty-turny thing for eagle, and that's a pretty good effort to within a few feet. Shingo Katayama has birdied 15 to join Chad Campbell as joint leader. The Japanese has yet to drop a shot. Great recovery from Garcia to within five feet, he may escape with a bogey.

1908: "Shoot!" says Phil Mickelson, in the manner of a 1950s housewife on realising her Yorkshires haven't risen, as his tee shot on 13 finds the trees. Garcia has a shocker at 12, he's in Rae's Creek...

1904: Phil Mickelson has gone all trendified on us - ice white piping, ice white belt, ice white shoes. He bogeyed 11 to drop back to even, Garcia makes par at 11 to stay even.

"I'm reasonably delighted. It's a shame to finish a round the way I did after birdieing 16 to get to five under. Unfortunately a couple of loose shots cost me two bogeys. I'm slightly disappointed, if you can be with a 69 but it's my first Masters so to break 70, I'm pleased.
England's Ross Fisher

"Drama at the first tee as a man collapses while Tiger Woods and his group are preparing to tee off. People near the man, who looked to be in his 30s, cried 'medic' as Woods, Stewart Cink and Jeev Milkha Singh stopped their preparations and looked over.

"Officials cleared a space around the man and Woods returned to the business in hand, driving off in his first major since last June's US Open. The man, who had cold towels pressed to his head and neck, was helped back to his feet shortly after."
Rob Hodgetts, BBC Sport at Augusta

1900: Hello again. Chad Campbell is making Augusta look no more threatening than a municipal pitch-and-putt - five birdies in five so far. It's very much a case of "does your husband play, madam" for Vijay Singh as he comes up short with his eagle putt at 13. First sight of Garcia, and it's ugly - doesn't read his birdie putt at 11 and he'll have a tricky one for par.

1855: As Harrington booms a drive down the 13th - in position A1 as Peter Alliss would say - confirmation that Campbell is the tournament leader, and he's still some distance away from our cameras at Amen Corner. And here's Mr Dirs again.

1855: Nice, confident putt from Harrington at 12 - that IS a birdie and leaves him two under for the tournament. Players will be looking out for his name on the leaderboard with a mild sense of worry, you would have thought.

1853: Goodness knows what Chad Campbell had for breakfast, but he's only gone and added another birdie to the four he picked up over the first four holes. That makes him five under after five holes. You usually only see that on the easy level of Tiger Woods Wii Golf.

1851: A lot of fancied names in Amen Corner land at present. The include Phil Mickelson, who misses a six-foot par putt at the 11th to go back to level par. Weir gets his birdie at the 12th.

1849: Jim Furyk rushes a birdie attempt way past the hole on the 11th. He's two under though, going strong. Justin Rose gets an important birdie on the 13th, and is back to one over. How expensive will those four dropped shots in the previous two holes be by the end of the week?

1846: Mike Weir, a winner of this in 2003, hits a delectable tee shot on the 12th and will have a short putt to join the hoardes on one under.

1844: Westwood makes his birdie putt at 13 to go one under. Nice one Lee. And another Englishman has got himself back together with a run of birdie, birdie, eagle to get back to level par from a horrid four-over.

1841: Geoff Ogilvy, the Australian who is highly rated by a number of observers, drains a seven-footer for birdie at the 12th to go one under. Harrington is one under going to the 12th. He got his putt, but it was only for par. Apologies if I got some of you unduly excited.

1840: American Chad Campbell has had a quite outstanding start to his round, four birdies in each of the first four holes. Wouldn't he kill for 14 pars right now? Or would he be greedy and want more? Campbell is tied for the lead with Shingo Katayama and Tim Clark - who of course is safely in the clubhouse.

1839: Padraig Harrington is going for his third consecutive major and is in nice shape on one under. And there's a beautiful approach from him at the 11th - he'll fancy his birdie putt from there.

1836: Enjoy the delights of the canteen, Ben! Lee Westwood, putting for an eagle and to go two under at the 13th, leaves a monster putt about six feet to the right of hole - perfect for pace that attempt from the Englishman.

1832: Vijay Singh is chugging along quite nicely - he makes par at 11. Cabrera misses a 15-footer at 12 but taps in to stay at two under. I'm going for some tucker, Oliver Brett will keep you up to date for the next 20 minutes or so...

1829: Justin Rose of England is blowing up - he made double-bogey at 11 and has just yanked his tee shot at 12 into Rae's Creek. Ray Floyd finished with a seven-over 79.

1825: Ryder Cupper Chad Campbell has raced to three under after 3, and that old heartbreaker Larry Mize is two under after 7. Els hits Amen Corner and he's very nearly in the drink with his approach, but the ball just stays atop the ridge to the left of the green. A surreptitious passing of wind from one of his playing partners would send that ball swimming.

1821: Shingo Katayama has a 10-foot eagle putt at 13 for the outright lead - but it breaks too soon and he has to settle for a share of the lead at four under. Cabrera drops to two under after missing a makeable par putt - is there such a thing at Augusta? - at 11.

1814: Oliver Wilson of Mansfield is putting together a decent round - he's birdied 5, 7 and 8 and is two under. Westwood splashes out from a green-side bunker at 12 and his ball is very nearly gobbled up by more sand over the other side. He's got a 10-footer for bogey, and he drains it. Spunky, but he still drops to even par. Steely from Goosen, who drains a 15-footer for birdie at 13 to climb to two over.

1810: Not sure about Bernhard's shirt, it looks like something you used to find in a Fosters bargain bin. And that's a ropey old swing, both he and Norman miss the green with their tee shot at 12. Woosie, winner in '91, is in with a 74, which is pretty handy for an old fella.

1808: England's Ross Fisher, on debut, has bogeyed 17 and 18 and is in with a 69, one off the lead. Still, that's a very respectable opening round. Californian Kevin Sutherland also finishes with a three-under 69, as does Thailand's Prayad Marksaeng.

1803: Player plays Amen Corner in even par, his slippery, curling birdie attempt at 12 sliding inches past the hole. Trials and tribulations for Langer and Norman at 11 - an impossible chip shot very nearly topples into Rae's Creek, and he just misses with his par putt from off the green. Great clutch putt from Langer from 10 feet, and he saves par. Worksop's Lee Westwood follows him in for par to stay one under.

1759: Scotland's Sandy Lyle is in with a level-par 72. That's some round after a double-bogey at the 1st. Katayama, playing in his eighth Masters, makes a four-footer disappear at 12 to move to three under and one off the lead. Tim Clark is in with a four-under 68 - that's the clubhouse lead.

1755: Katayama goes to within three feet with his tee shot at 12 - get inside that. Here's our first glimpse of the Great White. He misses to the right with his second at 11. Great shot from Langer though - or 'Longer', as our American friends insist on calling him - he's into the heart in two.

1748: Ross Fisher bogeys the 17th to fall back into a share of the lead on four under. Retief Goosen, in his 11th Masters appearance, under-hits his par putt at 11 to fall back to three over. Katayama of Japan makes par to stay two under. No Aussie has ever won a Green Jacket, but Geoff Ogilvy is a decent punt this week at between 18-22/1 - he's one under after eight. Apologies, I meant to say Mayfair and Campbell were over par, not under...

1742: Billy Mayfair has woken up down the stretch - birdies at 15, 16 and 17 and he's five over. That leaves Kiwi Michael Campbell propping up the field on seven over. Player drains a six-footer at 12 to stay three over.

1738: Some big moves atop the leaderboard - Ross Fisher has birdied the par-three 16th to move to five under, one clear. Kevin Sutherland has birdied 15 and 16 to move to three under, while Norman is two under at the turn, as is Justin Rose. Sweden's Henrik Stenson, who gives it some serious clatter, is two under after eight.

1732: Would just like to point out to the irate chap on 606 who has labelled the BBC "pathetic" for only showing Amen Corner that the BBC, like every other broadcaster, is only ever allowed to show Amen Corner for the first few hours of the day - that's Masters policy I'm afraid, and has always been thus. Champagne moment from Player, he's just curled in a 30-footer from the apron to make par at 11. Playing partner Luke Donald bogeys and falls back to four over.

1725: Gary Player is struggling to keep his round together after a sensational front nine - he's just doube-bogeyed the 10th. Argentine Angel Cabrera makes it a three-way tie for the lead - he's birdied the 8th to go four under. Big prize for the anonymous chap via text who guessed I was playing Risebridge golf course yesterday. The scrambler chap also asked me what I was looking for when I was hanging out the back of a bush. Perhaps I should have replied "the quiet yet proud dignity of the working classes".

1722: A tie for the lead now, with South African Tim Clark, winner of Wednesday's par-three hit and giggle, joining Ross Fisher on four under. Clark birdied 15 and made par at the next. Ascot's Fisher, meanwhile, is holding firm, with pars at 12, 13, 14 and 15.

"Amateur Steve Wilson, the 39-year-old gas station owner from Mississippi, has just walloped his opening drive a good 30 yards past playing partners Ian Poulter and Tom Watson. The strutting Englishman walked off the tee, shoulders back, chin out, and very possibly smarting. Poulter and the 60-year-old Watson were within a few yards of each other on the fairway.

"On the putting green adjacent to the 1st tee, US star Anthony Kim is deep in consultation with a coachy-looking chap. But Kim is not off until the last group of the day at 1403 (1903 BST) - maybe all is not well in the putting department of Camp Kim?"
Rob Hodgetts, BBC Sport at Augusta

1720: Michael Campbell, another former US Open champion, is struggling at the rear of the field - he's made six bogeys and is six over after 13. Ernie Els is another man who's finding things tough - the Big Easy is making Augusta look anything but, he's three over after seven.

1711: Sandy Lyle has got over his blip round the turn - birdies at 13 and 14 and he's back to level. John Merrick's out on course, and he's opted to play without his sack today. He's one under after three, which is a minor miracle considering he's been preserved in pickle for the last 120 years in the London Hospital. "How do I look?" Pretty good actually John.

1708: Just a reminder that I only have pictures of Amen Corner, which explains why I'll be jabbering on about certain players for a while before they disappear off the radar. I will, however, attempt to keep you up to date with the Fisher, Clark and any other major players.

1702: Justin Rose made birdie at 1 and is one under through seven. Padraig Harrington, seeking his third successive major victory, is also one under after five. Argentina's former US Open champion Angel Cabrera has made birdies at 2, 3 and 7 and is one off the lead at three under.

"Surely the biggest story so far is that Gary Player has played the front nine of his last Masters in one over par. At 73 years of age. How many of today's crop will manage that?"
BJD on 606
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1654: Nick Watney, who's had a good start to the season, comes up short with his second shot at 11. He's going nicely on two under. I was out playing a spot of golf yesterday and, the golf course being adjacent to a housing estate, there were loads of young urchins strolling about. Imagine my surprise when one of them rode his motorbike over the 12th green. Romford, lovely place.

1651: Dutch amateur Reinier Saxton, the 2008 British amateur champion, just played a shot most of us hackers will be familiar with - his ball was stuck halfway up some shrubbery and he was forced to flick it back into play one-handed. He's hit trouble - double-bogey at 11 and three over.

"Ross Fisher is walking with a confident gait and gave a skip of delight as he holed a treacherous three footer to save par at the seventh to remain three under par. At the next he drove into the bunker but hit a fine recovery and pitched to 18 feet where he rolled in the birdie putt.

"At the next he hit as long a drive as we'll see all day to the bottom of the hill. From there his short iron approach went 25 feet too long. For the putt he needed a feather duster rather than a putter. He barely set the ball in motion but it trundled five feet past and he missed the return."
Iain Carter, BBC Golf Correspondent at Augusta

1644: Ross Fisher pulls his eagle putt at 13, rolls six feet past, and misses the birdie putt coming back. That's Augusta for you - you think you've got it tamed and it cuffs you round the chops when you least expect it. Talking of anagrams, if I'm not mistaken Paul Casey, Luke Donald, Ian Poulter and Justin Rose, all jumbled together, is an anagram of 'Look Like They Might Launch a Charge Going Into The Weekend But Then Inexplicably Fall Away One By One.' Prove me wrong fellas, prove me wrong...

1639: No need for prayers from Ross Fisher round Amen Corner - doozy of an approach into the par-five 13th, a few feet further left and he would have been in Rae's Creek. As it is, he's bang in the guts of the green. Double-bogey for Floyd at 11, who drops back to four over. Raymond playing his 43rd Masters, and here's some shots of his 1976 victory, when he was an eight-shot winner over second-placed Ben Crenshaw.

1635: Any big punts out there? I've gone for Casey, McIlroy and Garcia, all each way. That's that lot shafted then. The Great White's out and about, and you should catch him while you can, he'll be pretty much extinct after this week. He's one under after six. Nick Watney of Sacramento birdies 8 and 9 to move to two under.

1631: Billy Mayfair, struggling on eight over, very nearly holes his approach into the 13th, while Sandy has a 15-footer for eagle... he leaves it just high, but Lyle taps in to move to one over. Another one of the old guys, Raymond Floyd, yanks his approach at 11 and his ball goes paddling. He won't be two over for too much longer. Clark makes his six-footer at 13 - that's two birdies round Amen Corner and he's just one behind Fisher on three under.

1626: Fisher lips out at 12! Choker for Fisher, but you can't expect this course to give you everything. Carl Pettersson, the Swede, drains a slippery 20-footer at 11 to move to two over. Prayad Marsaeng of Thailand makes birdie at 12 to move to one under. Fifteen men under par so far, including two-time winner Bernhard Langer after birdies at two and three.

"Prayad Marksaeng is an anagram of Green Jacket! Spooky eh? He's bound to win."
EmmDee on 606
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1621: Birdie for Woosnam at 13, he gets back to three over. Fisher, a walking-talking example of ignorance is bliss, trots over Hogan Bridge. He's got a 15-footer for another birdie.

"Why has a top police chief quit over showing a top secret document? He should have said it was the sandwich order - it worked for Nick Faldo..."
Terry from Eltham via text on 81111

1619: We have lift-off video-wise, which will be a relief to a great number of you. Fisher with a solid, searching tee shot at the par-three 12th...

1617: Here's Tim Clark, with a golden opportunity of birdie 12 - but he misses a four-footer and stays at two under, two off the lead. My apologies - they're coming thick and fast - Fisher made birdie at 11, he's four under again.

1612: Apologies again for the lack of Amen Corner coverage, apparently no-one's picking it up, not just the BBC. Woosie sends his approach at 13 to the left of the putting surface - the 1991 champion is four over. Ross Fisher of Ascot makes par at 10 after a dropped shot at 9.

1607: Hello you, and many thanks to Sam Lyon for his sterling efforts over the past few hours. Billy Mayfair is eight over after 11 - a five-time winner on the PGA Tour and the only man to beat Tiger in a PGA play-off. That's not helping him so far today. Replays of Sandy Lyle's miraculous bunker shot in 1988 - alas, the Scot has just dropped shots at 9 and 11.

By Sam Lyon

1601: As Angel Cabrera gets his round off to a flier, and as Ian Woosnam sinks down the leaderboard faster than a ship manned by Uncle Albert off Only Fools and Horses, I will hand you over to the inimitable Ben Dirs, who will talk you through the rest of the day's play. By the way, if you're struggling to see our video stream from Amen Corner at the moment, apparently it's down to technical problems at Augusta's end rather than our's. The technical wizards are working to fix it asap, trust me. Cheers people.

1555: "Re 1545: Is that a barbecue I smell? ;)"
Wot Kuyt 'e did on 606
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1551: Oh dear - all you Englishmen out there curse shasharankin's devil curse - Ross Fisher takes a five at the par-four ninth to slightly mar his front nine. He still holds the outright lead at three under, mind. Bernhard Langer is rolling back the years as he moves to two under through three, faring markedly better than 2005 US Open champion Michael Campbell, who is four over through seven. The Kiwi has never made the cut at a Masters, though, so maybe we should be about as surprised by that start as we are by the fact that someone greeted Arnold Palmer's ceremonial tee-shot with the cry "get in the hole" earlier. Blooming doughnut.

1548: "Nice to see so few Yanks in the top ten already!!!!!!"
Sgt Pepper on 606

Amen Corner

Live Masters video - Amen Corner

1545: Ladies and gentleman - BBC Sport's live coverage from Amen Corner is under way for UK users. That, combined with Five Live updates and all the chat on this text commentary, mean all you are missing is updates via carrier pigeon and smoke signals. And I'm hooking up the required apparatus for those as we speak. Ahem.

1540: "Ross Fisher to drop five shots in the next six holes. You heard it here first!!!"
shasharankin on 606

1537: Justin Rose birdies the tricky opening hole to make a typically encouraging start to his Masters campaign, while Bernhard Langer and Lee Westwood also sink early birdies to join the select few under par at the moment. The fascinating grouping of Vijay Singh, Ernie Els and Geoff Ogilvy is now out and about, as is "Paddy Slam"-chasing Padraig Harrington. Can the Irishman win a major with Tiger Woods in the field (as he did in the 2007 Open, thanks Tano on 606)?

1534: "Gary Player - who has participated in 52 of the 73 Masters to date, including this one - is enjoying a rousing standing reception wherever he walks at Augusta and, lo and behold, he's not enjoying a half bad start either."
John Murray on BBC Radio 5 Live

1531: "Who can do the best Padraig Harrington "no top lip when watching my shot" look in the office... I am currently third."
MrLipOut on 606
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1527: Ross Fisher is enjoying a front nine he might not even have dreamed of after a particularly heavy night on the cheese as he makes it four birdies from eight holes with another shot picked up at the eighth. On the theme of lookalikes (see 1415), Fisher has a touch of the Beavis-es about him no?

1520: "Surely the bet for the tournament was Gary Player at 50,000/1?"
Steve, Leeds via text on 81111

Feels great to be back - Norman

1518: Not the greatest of starts for Englishman Luke Donald as he bogeys the first to lay one over through two, one shot better off than Ian Woosnam who has now slipped back to joint 29th on two over after dropping a shot at the par-five eighth. Elsewhere, Bernhard Langer, Lee Westwood, Greg Norman and Gary Player are all level par, while Dustin Johnson birdies two and three to move to within a shot of early leader Ross Fisher.

1514: "Not many mentions for Oliver Wilson - he could be a dark horse. He has played Augusta a few times as he was top Collegiate there."
goldwolf on 606
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1510: Don't forget either that our man on the scene Rob Hodgetts will be updating you on various bits and bobs on his Augusta blog - his latest entry (posted after the 'experts' tips') talks about Palmer's ceremonial tee shot and a chat with Danny Lee. Which is nice. Rob Hodgetts' blog

1506: "RE: 1415 - What an insult to Fozzie Bear! Young Rory McIlroy won't even make the cut, the course will eat him alive. Oh, and he looks more like the lead singer of The View."
Aleksandr from Russia via text on 81111

1504: "Soren Hansen 'does a Lyle' and double bogeys the first - oops - but he need not lose heart just yet, with Scot Sandy showing recoveries can be swift as he moves up to joint seventh with a birdie at seven to move back to level par. Stephen Ames, meanwhile, 'does a Watney' (I'm going to stop that now, sorry) and eagles the second. Fisher still out on his own on three-under, though.

1501: "Why is no one talking about Mr Adam Scott? I've just backed him at 77/1, he's definitely got the distance for a course like Augusta and he has yet to fullfil his potential in majors."
pws5599 on 606
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1456: England's Ross Fisher is hotter than a firefighter's pants at the moment as he sinks another birdie at the par-three sixth to go three under and take the outright lead.

1451: "Cue the claims that people had Nick Watney to win at a 100/1!"
MrSport88 on 606

1446: "Birdie two for Sandy Lyle on the 6th, here's comes his charge!!"
EmmDee57 on 606
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1443: Nick Watney - in only his second Masters appearance - goes joint top of the leaderboard with an eagle at the second to go two under alongside Ross Fisher. For those thinking "who's that then?", Watney finished 11th here last year and recently won the 2009 Buick Invitational, so he's certainly in decent form coming to Augusta. The curse of the par-three winner seems to have struck Tim Clark like a rolled up bit of paper flung by an overly rambunctious teenager as the South African bogeys sixth to fall back to level par after birdieing two of the first three holes.

1436: "Re 1415: As I said on Rob Hodgetts's blog - I fully expect to be cheering on the closing pair of Rory McIlroy & Padraig Harrington as they stride down the 18th together on Sunday!"
Wot Kuyt 'e did on 606
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1429: We now have 24 players out on the course, but after a flurry of birdie action earlier in the day, only three - Ross Fisher, Tim Clark and Raymond Floyd - are now sub-par, with Sandy Lyle and Prayad Marksaeng holding up the pack on two over. The likes of Luke Donald, Retief Goosen, Lee Westwood and Justin Rose are due out soon, though, while the intriguing grouping of Vijah Singh, Geoff Ogilvy and Ernie Els are just 54 minutes away from their tee-off time. Why not check our tee-off times page so you can plan your coffee breaks and toilet stops around your favourite player's action.
Augusta tee-off times

1425: A reminder, then, of our coverage details today... We're offering live coverage on BBC Two/BBC One, Radio 5 Live sports extra, Red Button, HD and the sport website 2100-0030, live pictures from Amen Corner 1545-2215 on the Red Button and the sport website, and updates on 5 Live and this text commentary throughout the day.

1421: "The Masters has a special place in my heart as I went into labour during the 1991 campaign. I think Ian Woosnam won that one and my son is 18 on Tuesday!"
Sharon in Southend via text on 81111

Can I expect a follow-up text from your son, "Woosie in Southend"?

1417: We have an Englishman leading the Masters folks, as Ross Fisher birdies the third to take the lead from Tim Clark after the South African slips up at the fourth. Odds on him Fisher still being there come Sunday evening? Long, I'd wager, but still...

McIlroy soaking up Masters build-up

1415: Not many of you seem to be backing Northern Irish teenager Rory McIlroy to stun the more established masses of the golfing unit and bag his a first major title at the age of just 19. He's already a big favourite - four tournaments in - with the US crowd and NBC golf commentator and former Open and US champion Johnny Miller said over the weekend that the youngster "has all the shots". I'm going to err on the side of romance and tip McIlroy to make some waves this weekend. Even if he does remind me of Fozzie Bear from the muppets.
Relaxed McIlroy ready for Masters

1407: "Mr prediction - Stephen Ames to lose a play off to Mike Weir, Justin Leonard, Jim Furyk and Tiger to make up the top five, and Padraig Harrington to miss the cut!"
subpar on 606
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1404: By the way - England's Ross Fisher is among those sinking birdies at Augusta, he's one under through two, while Tim Clark birdies the third to take the early outright lead at two under. Jubbly.

1402: The players are piling on birdies faster than Callum Best on a night out at Faces, Gants Hill at the moment with nearly half the players already under par with the leading pack only through three holes. Meanwhile, Sandy Lyle shakes off his first-hole blues with a par at the second.

1358: Here's a helping hand to you as we wile the early hours of the opening day away musing about possible winners until the action hots up - who do the 'experts' think will bag the Green Jacket come Sunday evening? Padraig Harrington, Phil Mickelson and, ahem, Tiger Woods appear to be the top choices but, come on, those choices are safer than a seat belt on your grandad's armchair.
Picking the winner

1353: "The Goose to win, Padraig and Casey in the Top 10, Rory to enjoy himself and Happy Birthday Seve!!!"
David Tee on 606

Gary Player celebrates after a 'hole-in-one' with his second shot off the tee

Masters Par 3 course holes-in-one

1350: South Africa's Tim Clark - one of three players to record a hole-in-one on his way to winning the pre-Masters par-three competition on Wednesday - birdies the second to join the early leaders on one-under. Can he break the hoodoo and become the first par-three winner to go on and secure the Green Jacket?
Clark wins pre-Masters event

1347: "It's been a bit quiet at the Masters in recent years but we're expecting plenty of roars this week. The weather's set fair, we've got some fantastic plotlines here this week, and you can taste the anticipation around the course already. A lot of the talk, of course, surrounds Tiger Woods, but there's plenty of interest in Padraig Harrington as well... can the Irishman make it three in a row?"
Iain Carter on BBC Radio 5 Live

1342: "I can't believe they were cutting the edges around the pond at the 16th with a hover mower - a hover mower at Augusta! Is nothing sacred any more!?"
Anon via text on 81111

1337: "I've wasted so much money on Sergio Garcia over the years it's untrue. Every major I think its got to be his turn and I just give the money to Mr Hill. But I do think we are due a European winner."
ShankintorowZ on 606

Sandy Lyle in 1988

Archive - Lyle's bunker shot sets up Masters win

1333: Ian Woosnam - he's getting plenty of love via texts and 606 - is level par through two holes so far, having shaved the hole with a birdie attempt at the first, one shot behind Briny Baird and Chez Reavie, who are both one-under. Sandy Lyle, however, double-bogeys the first to lay two over through one. A shameless excuse for me to plug our clip of the bunker shot that set up his 1988 Masters win. Dem were the days hey Sandy baby?

1329: "There will be plenty of young, exciting talent on show this week at Augusta National. Rory McIlroy, Danny Lee, Ryo Ishikawa all have potential, but it is a South African by the name of Gary Player who has impressed me most. Miraculously saved par at the Par 3 Contest yesterday. He's definitely one for the future..."
Tano on 606
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1325: "A beautiful sunny day here at Augusta, with just a touch of early morning chill. The expectant crowd were kept off the course until 0730, at which point battalions of speed walkers (no running allowed of course) hared off to different parts of the course, armed with green folding Masters deck chairs.

"Honorary starter Arnold Palmer received a standing ovation (to be fair, most of us were standing anyway, but those that weren't, did) as he walked onto the 1st tee at 0745. After a few kind words from Augusta chairman Billy Payne, Arnie teed one up and took one-and-a-half practice swings. (Definitely not two).

"With a resigned "Oh well", he addressed the ball, and clattered a good one down the middle. Arnie seemed delighted, the patrons were cock-a-hoop and the Masters is go."
BBC Sport's Rob Hodgetts at Augusta

1321: Henrik Stenson to win. He played well last week in Houston, hits it miles and is also the tip of Peter Alliss - that'll do for me!"
Steve via text on 81111

1318: So, American legend Arnold Palmer set the ball rolling earlier by smashing a ceremonial drive straight up the fairway of the par-four first - as opposed to 'doing a Sam' (as it is known in my household) and shanking it off the tee straight into a nearby tree - before Welshman Ian Woosnam got the tournament proper started by teeing off in the first group alongside Americans Chez Reavie and Briny Baird. Playing conditions, I hear you ask? Abso-blooming-lutely perfect.

1316: "I just got 100-1 on Luke Donald - pleased with that. We are due a Brit winner!"
Rich, S'ton via text on 81111

1314: "The Masters is truly the start of the golfing season! Nothing gets the golf blood flowing like the Masters! I cant wait!"
Derek bored in work in Glasgow, via text on 81111

1309: Right then, I know plenty of you will be bored by his very mention, but let's get it out of the way early doors yeah? This is Tiger Woods's return to major golf. There, I said it. Unarguably one of the game's finest players, the American only recently returned to action after eight months out for surgery on a knee injury and already he is the talk of the course and hot favourite with the bookies to win what would be his fifth Green Jacket. His last outing at a major saw the 33-year-old beat Rocco Mediate to the US Open title and a 15th title at Augusta would put a seal not only on a fantastic comeback story, but also his legacy as one of the sport's most annoyingly-brilliant players. I promise not to mention him now for all of, erm, eight minutes at least.
Woods ready for Masters campaign

1300: "What odds on Justin Rose to be first-round leader for the fourth year in a row?"
Henz, Kent via text on 81111

1258: "Call me crazy, but I think Tiger Woods could win this."
Posh - Member Of The Cult Of Stephen Ireland on 606

1255: Before we get chatting about all things golf, I want to remind you all that you have a massive chance to get involved today and ensure the next few hours isn't just me talking to myself. Not that I'm not fascinating, of course, it's just even Shakespeare kept soliloquies to a minimum. Sort of. Anyway, send me your texts via 81111 and get involved on 606 - I can give you your 15 minutes of fame.
Join the debate on 606

1250: Ahh, the smell of freshly-cut greens and newly-built bunkers, whispers of a European targeting a Grand Slam, the return of one of the game's true greats to major golf and the most eagerly anticipated chase for the prized Green Jacket in years. It can only mean one thing - it's the 73rd Masters, people.

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see also
Masters photos
09 Apr 09 |  Golf
Augusta tee-off times
07 Apr 09 |  Golf

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