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Page last updated at 00:00 GMT, Friday, 9 April 2010 01:00 UK

Masters day one as it happened


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By Mark Orlovac

0051: This seems like a good time to say goodnight. What an opening round that was, and what a leaderboard. Old timers like Couples, Watson and Lyle are all on there while Westwood, Mickelson and Poulter are among those in the hunt. And what a performance from Woods, especially with everything that has gone on over the last five months. It's good to have you back sir. Have a good sleep. Ben Dirs is back with you tomorrow lunchtime and I'll see you later on. It's going to be a superb day, I dare you to miss it.

Padraig Harrington (+2): "I didn't play very well. I hit some really poor shots and lost my co-ordination. I was chasing a birdie at the end and then hit another poor tee shot at 18 which gives me a lot of work to do over the next three days. I worked hard from where I was but I was struggling a bit with my confidence. It's there, it's just about finding it for tomorrow."

Tiger Woods (-4): "All day the crowd reaction was unbelievable. I haven't heard the people cheer that loud in all my years here and it really helped, especially when you're missing a few putts. I took the practice very seriously, I was trying really hard for weeks on end. I wouldn't say I was more aggressive, but the golf course was a little bit more there to be had today, the tees were up. I just tried to stay focused and keep plodding along, try not to give any shots away. I would think a couple under par would have been a very good start."

Ken Brown
BBC Sport pundit Ken Brown on Lee Westwood: "There isn't much more he can do to win a major. Maybe his chipping and putting consistency. He knows he has got the game. He needs something to happen at the right time. He is a superb player."

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Paul in Auckland via text: "Hi Ben in Norfolk, I have 10 dollars on YE Yang at 125-1 so I am happy too."

0034: The last group have just finished. Barnes ends with a par to card a 68. Here's the first-round leaderboard:
-6 Couples -5 Watson, Westwood, Mickelson, Yang, Choi -4 Kim, Watney, Poulter, Woods, Barnes.

Ian Poulter (-4): "I'm very pleased. The conditions were looking favourable for the early guys but it stayed pretty windy most of the day. It's nice - there are a couple of great names on the leaderboard. Tom Watson was inspirational at the Open and strong today. Freddie Couples loves this golf course and it's fantastic to be part of it."

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Anon via text on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide): "Re: 0006. How can you not mention the pink shoes!?"
I apologise, thankfully you've done it for me.

Ross Fisher, who led in first round last year (+5): "I just didn't hole anything, I putted really poorly. Things didn't go my way. It's a different story to last year but I need to play some good golf and make some bogeys. This day is gone and is disappointing - I have a lot of work to do. I need a nice round in the 60s."

0023: Woods is too heavy with his birdie putt but the par one rattles in. That's a 68 which beats his Masters first-round best by two.

0021: Choi putts up the hill and has a sneaky one for par. Kuchar has a six footer after his approach spins back towards the hole.

0016: Kuchar takes an age before finally getting his shot away. Blimey that took a long time. The rain begins to fall again. Choi is short with his approach to the green and the ball trickles back down the hill. Woods takes a wedge, that's right a wedge, for his approach. The ball goes above the hole, on the upslope, before trickling down towards the hole. Nice shot. Birdie chance.

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Ben in Norfolk via text: "My £2.50 each-way bet at 91-1 on Couples is looking great now. Especially with the bookies giving odds of 17-1!!"

0011: Kuchar is in the woods after going left at the 18th. Alliss is ranting about how long the group of Kuchar, Woods and Choi have taken to get round. He calls it "pathetic". They teed off at 1842. In the group behind, Barnes is up to four under thanks to a birdie at 17.

0006: Poulter gets down in two from that bunker. That's a tidy 68 for him. Good start. For the fashion watchers among you, Poulter has today been mostly wearing a light blue/turquoise top with light blue/turquoise and yellow checked trousers. So now you know. World number two Steve Stricker cards a one-over par 73.

0001: Tiger has never broken 70 in the opening round at the Masters but is on course to do so today. This has been some performance, like he has never been away. He finds the fairway with a big drive at the last.

2357: Woods has a long putt to the 17th stick but he does not give it enough. Should be a par. Harrington bogeys the last for a opening round of 74. Poulter digs his ball out of the rough at the 18th but finds sand with his approach.

Clubhouse leader Fred Couples (-6): "I didn't think I would shoot 66 today. I think it's by far the best round I have had here. I felt very stiff, the wind was blowing so hard and I felt really tight. But I made a lot of putts. We still have to come out tomorrow and play really well on a really hard golf course."

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Hogg, avoiding uni work via text: "I may regret not putting that bet on Couples. Still, there's always my Stenson and Garcia bets... "

It's good news for a Briton at the Open
2349: Poulter is up to four under now after sinking a nervy one at 17. Woods connects with his approach to 17 but it is probably half a club too short.

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Fred in Hammersmith via text on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide): "Can somebody at the BBC please put Peter Alliss and Stuart Hall together for something before it's too late? It might be just me but I love them like they're my naughty eloquent grandads and they make me smile."

2342: The Tank (KJ Choi) moves to five under with another birdie, this time at 16. That's his fourth in a row. Poulter has a nice approach to 17 and the ball trickles along the green towards the hole.
-6 Couples -5 Watson, Westwood, Mickelson, Yang, Choi -4 Kim, Watney, Woods

2339: I spoke too soon. As Woods hits his putt at 16 some clown shouts the dreaded phrase. I feel dirty. Anyway, Woods misses it - par it is.

Rory McIlroy (+2): "I feel as if I hit it really good out there and didn't get the rewards but that's golf. I need to go out tomorrow and take the chances. I didn't leave myself in the best of spots today and I've hit some really good putts that didn't break or just didn't go in."

2333: Great putt from Harrington at the 17th to save par. Woods fires his tee shot to the par-three 16th with some of the crowd shouting "be there". Thank goodness I haven't heard the ridiculous "get in the hole" call so far. It's early days though. He's on the green with a makeable birdie putt to follow. European Tour Race to Dubai leader Charl Schwartzel is on three under after birdies at 15 and 16.

US up
2327: Harrington, on one over, finds sand at the 17th. David Duval, who has worn shades all day despite the sometimes gloomy weather, doubles the 14th and is on two over. Woods drains his eagle putt at 15 and the crowd rise as one. He's on four under - just two behind Couples. Considering he has had five months out, that's not too bad is it?
-6 Couples -5 Watson, Westwood, Mickelson, Yang -4 Kim, Watney, Woods, Choi

2322: We can see some shadows at Augusta National. And I don't mean that Hank Marvin's boys have taken up golf. Time for the sunshine graphic then. Couples places his approach to the 18th right on the dancefloor. Alliss celebrates the shot by calling the American "adorable". Steady on.

2317: Boom. Woods spanks his drive at 15 down the fairway. I dream of making shots like that. Seriously. Poulter is very close to getting another birdie but his putt at 15 lips out. Unlucky.

US up
2313: Woods misses it. He's now on two under. And we have a new leader. Couples sinks a 7ft uphill putt and the 50-year-old leads the Masters. Stunning.

2308: Woods does not hit a clean chip to the 14th green and is a little short. Tough putt for par now. Ricky Barnes, tied for second at the US Open last year, eagles the 13th and is on two under.

Ball in rough
2303: Poulter joins the party at three under with birdies at 13 and 14. An angry Woods drops his club in reaction to a poor approach shot at 14. The ball goes into the crowd to the left of the green. Couples, who is looking more and more like a sailor who has just strolled ashore off his luxury yacht to buy a bottle of champagne, pings one in to the 17th green.

Matteo Manassero (-1): "It should be less than 71 but I'm happy. You want to make the cut but we will take what tomorrow will offer. I'm having a lot of fun. It was a great first round."

BBC Sport's Rob Hodgetts on Twitter: "Anyone else notice Vijay Singh was using a yellow ball? Very 1984. What next, an orange one?"

Get involved on 606
Pickles91 on 606: "Tiger seems well placed at three under, have to think he'll only improve the more he plays this week."

2251: Couples just misses a birdie putt at 16, he'll settle for a par. Woods misses his eagle chance but claims his birdie to move to three under. KJ Choi birdies the same hole and is a stroke further back. Apparently Choi's nickname used to be 'The Tank' as when he was a weightlifter at 13, he used to be able to lift four times his own body weight.

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Dan from Swindon via text: "I just put some money on Tiger Woods to win outright. As it's my first time watching golf I'm not sure if this was a good idea or not? And advice? "

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Bob in Aberdeen via text: "Great to see Sandy Lyle right up there on the leaderboard. Only Scotsman playing. Also good to see Couples and old Tom up there to. Golfers who can still compete in their fifties. That's good because I am 54."

2243: Woods batters his tee shot down down the middle of the 13th fairway. He then fires his approach to the top of the green and the ball rolls down to give the world number one a wonderful eagle chance. He's good this boy isn't he?

2239: Tell you what, this golf lark is easy isn't it? Couples looks as if he is walking his dog at a local park. He birdies the 15th to join the leaders on five under and then jauntily strolls off to the 16th tee. Garcia moves to one over with a birdie at 15.

2235: From where Couples was, that's a fantastic shot. He gets to within 10 feet. My Dad always told me to watch Couples as he has the perfect swing. He's not wrong you know. If only I could get anywhere near it. Sergio Garcia is currently on two over and he looks as if he has just found out he is sitting between Piers Morgan and Fern Britton at a wedding.

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"Four lads from Branston, Lincoln, playing drinking games to the Masters. Tiger is impressive as ever."

2226: The rain is also starting to ease now. Couples goes right at the 15th. His approach gets over the water but is in the crowd to the right of the green. Woods has a par at the 12th when his birdie putt lips out.

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Andrew Seale, Francistown in Botswana via text: "Put £1 each way on Sandy Lyle at 1500-1. Looking good! Have placed the same bet each year since Sandy's 1988 win, one of my favourite sporting moments."

2224: Big smiles from Woods as his tee shot at the 12th bounces right by the pin and spins back down to six feet away. Nice shot. Immelman birdies the last for a 69.

2220: Woods settles for a par at the 11th while Perry's birdie putt at 16 is just too light. A par three for him. Wayne Grady on the telly reports that the wind has started to die down. Poulter managed to save par at the 12th by the way.

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Anon via text: "Watching from Auckland. Beautiful morning here in New Zealand. Pity about Cambo's 83. Go Sandy Lyle!"

Graeme McDowell (+3): "I had a couple of really careless three putts that killed the momentum early on and all of a sudden I was off to the horror start so I had to dig deep and hang in there and it was nice to make a few birdies coming in there. It keeps me there or thereabouts and anything in the 60s tomorrow gets me right back in there."

2213: Ian Poulter, who is on one under, goes long and into the sand at the back of the 12th. Treacherous stuff there. The rain is starting to fall a bit heavier now. Kenny Perry, who threw away victory at Augusta last year, eagles the 15th to move to even par before producing a fine tee shot at 16.

Sandy Lyle (-3): "The course and the greens are very quick. Number 11 was dead into the wind but generally there were a lot of good birdie chances so it all worked pretty well for me. I've got the first round over with and I'm very pleased with how my golf has been going. I'd like to win it and if I can get my game going the way I would like then I might be right up there."

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Jason in Durham via text on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 worldwide): "Yet again the Beeb have come up trumps, fantastic coverage on the web - means the better half gets to watch what ever she wants on the telly while I sit watching heaven on a screen."

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George in Seattle via text: "Following the action online from my office in Seattle. I should be working but have the golf on all of my monitors! I feel like Tiger will maul the field like old times!"

It's bad news for a Briton at the Open
US up
2203: Ross Fisher bogeys the last for a disappointing 77. He has a lot of work to do to make the weekend. Couples birdies the 13th to move to four under. What a performance. My colleague sitting next to me is very, very pleased with himself (some would say smug) as before the event he placed some cash on the 1992 winner at 110-1.

2159: Woods' putt just, and only just, stops short of the hole. That's a shot dropped and he is back to two under together with 2008 champion Trevor Immelman and 2007 winner Zach Johnson.

England Paul Casey (+3): "That was very frustrating - it was probably the best I have hit the ball all year and I didn't get any good bounces when I needed one, simple as that. Thursday is often the day when they get the greens the fastest all week, but the guys who have been here before know that. I didn't putt well at all today."

Bernhard Langer (-1): "I don't have any expectations. I'm 52 and just trying to have fun. When I was 20 or 30 I had no clue that I would still be playing golf at 52."

2152: Lyle, the 1988 Masters champion, birdies the last and is in the clubhouse on three under. Who would have thought that? Woods is short with his approach to the 10th and his third shot is a bit lively. Par is by no means guaranteed here.

2147: American Matt Kuchar is up to three under with a birdie four at the 8th. The 31-year-old, who has two PGA Tour wins to his name, has four top-10 finishes so far this year.

From Amazon Stu via text: "I'm following the Masters in the middle of the Amazon on a BlackBerry - missing the old Beeb. Tipping Cabrera for the win!"

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Jordan in York via text: "Re: 2130 entry. I once told my 12-year-old sister a similar story about Tiger Woods. Her response, now a long running family joke, was - 'I didn't know he was blind'."

Lee Westwood: "It's my lowest ever round here so I'm very pleased to get off to a start like that. I kept on giving myself birdie chances and if you do that then you're in with a chance. I think you can be relaxed if you're confident. The last two majors I've played in I've been in the hunt. I'm finally getting the hang of playing in majors now, knowing when to be patient and when to attack."

2139: Fisher three putts at the par-three 16th for a bogey. That last one never looked like it was going to go in. He's on five over. England's Chris Wood has two birdies in his closing seven holes to finish on six over.

US up
US up
2136: Couples sneaks that birdie putt into the hole at the 12th. He's on three under and is soon joined by Woods, who does the same at 9.

Current clubhouse leader Tom Watson: "It's a lot better than I've done in the last 10 years at Augusta. I played a good solid front nine and then on the back nine the first five holes. I got it up and down for par. It was a great short game exhibition for me - visions of the old Tom Watson. I don't hit the ball as solidly as I used to but I hit enough good shots." Asked if he could win Watson said: "Ask me after Sunday's round. I expected to play well at Turnberry, I didn't expect to play this well or score this well here. A 67, I'm really grateful for that. I've not shot below 72 for years."

2130: What. A. Shot. That's why people get so excited about seeing Tiger play. He can't see the green because of a tree 30 yards in front of him but he still manages to whip the ball around it to land the ball on the green. Brilliant. Umbrellas up, more rain.

2127: Woods goes left at the 9th and looks pensive as he waits for the group in front to play. Couples finds the dancefloor at the 12th. Watney sinks a tiddler at 16 to join the leaders on five under. The wind is strong, a lot of trouser legs are a-fluttering on the greens.

2123: Lyle rolls back the years, sorry about that, with a long birdie putt at 17. He's on two under. Couples is on the same mark after a par at 11. BBC Sport pundit Ken Brown is not happy with the American's shoes, though. "They look like bedroom slippers," he says. Joy in the office as a colleague gets the chocolate in. The man concerned, however, likes vanilla tea. No need for that.

Graham from Bath via text on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 worldwide): "Just spent three hours patiently waiting to watch Rory on the 12th and pc has just crashed. An omen perhaps? How did he get on? Ace?"
I'm afraid he parred it Graham. He is on two over.

SauberRG on Twitter: "I predicted Martin Kaymer for the win. At +4 I may have been a bit wrong."

US up
2114: Woods gets the eagle three and it's two under for him. Watney birdies 15 and he is on four under with Kim. It's all pastel blue for Wayne Grady and Peter Alliss on the television tonight. Good co-ordination chaps.

2107: Woods bogeys the 7th and is back to level par. He has a huge drive at the 8th and his approach bounces in the bumpy rough to the right and down onto the green. Planned? Only he knows. Eagle chance. If you haven't already, refresh this page to get the tv coverage. Excellent.

markianallison on Twitter: "Tiger to finish on -3 today, no point showing off too much on his first run out. He will win by four shots by the 4th round though."

2102: Here's a quick reminder of how you can get involved tonight, there's 606, Twitter or text us on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide) with MASTERS before your message. Because you're worth it.

2057: I think it's time for a quick recap of where we stand. Watson, Westwood, Mickelson and Yang are safely in the clubhouse on five under. Kim is on his own on four under, with Toms (18), Watney (14) and Soren Kjeldsen (12) a shot further back. Couples is in the group on two under, together with Open champion Stewart Cink. Stand by your beds, coverage is about to start on BBC Two.

BBC Sport pundit Jay Townsend on Twitter: "The wind is gusting to over 25 mph at the moment, VERY tough conditions."

2051: I've let myself down there haven't I? Sorry Harry, there'll be other days. Promise. I am officially allowed to have a burger though as I've cycled in today. Fact. Now, be a love and manually refresh this page for me? Awesome.

By Harry Reekie

2050: Orlo has returned with, wait for it, a burger. Nice work, so you won't have to wait much longer until the seasoned pro returns. Tension in the room though as he didn't bring me anything.

2048: So, as it stands Y.E Yang, Phil Mickelson, Lee Westwood and Tom Watson are leading on five under par. Not a lot of other British interest at the top of the leaderboard though. Woe for the Brits.

2044: Trevor Immelman, another former champion, pushes one wide of the green on the par five 13th. He doesn't look happy. And neither am I at the moment because there's still no sign of Tiger.

2040: Vijay Singh on the 12th tee with a yellow ball but he can only manage to find the fringe of the green. Could be something to do with the wind picking up quite a lot in Augusta. By the way, the weather isn't exactly the usual blue sky stuff. Wind with a bit of rain at the moment.

2036: Woods has only made par on the 6th so he must have missed the putt. The television producers didn't show it. Cheers chaps.

2031: Award for worst dressed golfer of the first day definitely goes to Ryan Moore who has opted for a white shirt with green tie tucked in and black trousers. He looks like he's lost a bet.

2027: Defending champion Angel Cabrera has just finished his first round at one over. Not a terrible start from the burly Argentine.

2024: Woods at the 6th tee with the crowd watching his every move. No shock there. And also no surprise that he sends one to within 12 feet of the flag. A birdie awaits methinks.

2018: Right, Orlo's off down to the BBC canteen to feast on the grub so I'll try and keep you updated for next 20 minutes or so. Manually refresh the page to make sure it looks ship shape if you would.

By Mark Orlovac

2013: Rain is starting to fall at Augusta. While you are waiting for the main coverage to start, have a gander at the report filed by BBC's James Pearce on Tiger's ad.

Controversy over Tiger Woods ad

2006: Woods shouts after his ball "go hard" as he lands it on the dancefloor at the 5th. Round-up time. Three-time major winner Padraig Harrington is level par after five. The Goose is one over after claiming a shot back at 15. Garcia bogeys the 5th and doubles the 7th to slumps back to one over. Luke Donald, meanwhile, carded a 74 after three birdies on the back nine.

Get involved on 606
Evra on 606: "Make no doubt about it, the course will get tougher as the tournament progresses. The big factor will be the pin placement, they usually put them in near impossible positions on the last day. A lot of people setting themselves up nicely for the tournament. Would not surprise me at all to see someone 6 shots off the lead after today to go & win the tournament."

2000: Anthony Kim moves up to three under after birdies at 16 and 17. Defending champ Cabrera, who has slipped to even par, went for grilled ribeye steak for his champions dinner menu. What would you have? I think you couldn't go far wrong with a classy spag bol. Or maybe a kebab?

Get involved on 606
EmmDee57 on 606: "Good to see good scoring today, I'm sure this won't be the case over the next three days though once it dries up and gets even faster on the greens."

US up
It's good news for a Briton at the Open
1951: It's that man Mickelson again. He birdies 15 and joins Westwood and Watson on five under. Westwood carded a 67 after a birdie at the last. Yang is also in the leading group with a birdie at 15.
-5 Watson, Westwood, Mickelson, Yang -3 Toms, Els

1947: A few of you are asking about Rory McIlroy. Well, he is one over after after seven. He birdied the 3rd but dropped shots at 4 and 5. Meanwhile, Woods shouts "oh come on!" after he pushes his tee shot at the 4th through the green to the right.

It's bad news for a Briton at the Open
1942: Casey going backwards now. He triple bogeys the 15th and then bogeys the 16th. One over for him.

BBC Radio 5 live's Iain Carter on Twitter: "Maybe we are just a plotline in Ashes to Ashes with Watson leading??"

wearyourshirt23 on Twitter: "Would like to see Westwood remain on -4. Don't want him to lead overnight as he might get too much pressure then."

1934: ... but Westwood misses the birdie putt. Woods gets his first birdie after sinking a cheeky five-footer at the 350-yard 3rd. No jokes please about how many birdies he will get this week. Thanks.

1931: Mickelson moves to four under with a 15ft birdie putt at 14. The patrons are loving this. Westwood drills a fine approach to the 17th green and is 15ft from the pin.
-5 Watson -4 Westwood, Mickelson, Yang -3 Toms, Molinari, Els

1925: Woods has another par at the 2nd while Kim bogeys the 14th to slip back to one under. Goosen is struggling, he bogeys the 10th and doubles the 11th. He's on two over.

1919: Korea's YE Yang birdies 12 and 13 and joins Westwood on four under. Fred Couples, who has a few backers this year, is two under after four - the same as Spaniard Sergio Garcia. Poults birdies the 3rd to join them.

US up
1915: Mickelson is now on the move. He drains a long-range eagle putt at 13 and is on three under. The patrons go bananas. Watson birdies the last to set the clubhouse lead on five under. What a story.

1909: World number seven Ian Poulter is off the mark with a birdie at the 2nd. Before the event, the 34-year-old called on the English contingent to end their Masters drought. "It is time one of us stepped up," he said. Nick Faldo is the last Brit to win the Masters, in 1996.

It's good news for a Briton at the Open
It's good news for a Briton at the Open
1905: Tiger pars the 1st. Westwood birdies the 15th to join Watson on four under while Casey claims shots at 13 and 14 to move to three under. Double graphic joy. Cabrera has a double-bogey seven at 13 and slips to one under.

1858: Just a quick mention of Chris Wood. The Englishman, who finished the Open tied for third at Turnberry last year, started well in his Masters debut with a birdie at the 1st but triple-bogeyed the 2nd and dropped shots at 7, 8 and 9. He is on five over.

1852: Els has to settle for a par at 13 after his eagle putt from the fringe goes way past the hole. Kim eagles the same hole, that's a crystal goblet for him then, and is on two under.

Get involved on 606
caxi19 on 606: "The likes of Georgie Best and James Hunt recognised and acknowledged their imperfections and the public expected nothing from them as a result. Tiger was too happy to be the 'boring' superstar that he was and now he suffers the consequences by having to truthfully live up to those expectations."

Ken Brown
BBC Sport pundit Ken Brown: "In 2008 Tiger Woods won the US Open with a broken leg, can he win the Masters with a broken heart?"

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Robin, Cape Town via text: "Maybe the reason Tiger's received such a bad response to his flaws, is down to him having portrayed that clean hero's image, whilst guys like Georgie Best didn't care what people thought? If anything, part of their glamour came from the lifestyles they lived. It's what made them heroes."

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Anon via text: "I think comparing Tiger to Hunt the Shunt is apples and pears. Like it or not, because of the way he broke so many barriers, sporting, cultural and racial - Tiger transcended sport. He was always about more than just golf. He may not have liked that but he accepted the incredible financial rewards that came with it. In my mind that makes him complicit in the whole 'role model' debate. Hunt was just a fast-living toff who was a great driver. Besides, he was a 1970's F1 driver, what else would he do?!"

1841: Warm reception on the tee for Woods, who has his game face on. Would you believe it, he's absolutely nailed it. Straight down the middle. That's a shot and no mistake. I think I've just seen a huge weight being lifted off his shoulders.

1839: Not long now. Wonder how Tiger's feeling? I'm nervous enough at a first tee if there are few people looking on. It's a bit different when the whole world is watching. Where will he put the ball? Will he top it?

US up
It's good news for a Briton at the Open
1834: The Goose drops a shot at the 9th and is back to one under. Watson birdies the 15th and 16th to take the lead all on his own on four under. Westwood moves to three under with a birdie at 13.
-4 Watson -3 Toms, Marino, Westwood, Els, Cabrera, Rollins

1828: The Big Easy, Ernie Els to his mates, is now on three under after adding a birdie at the 12th. Toms, who was in front on his own at four under, ends his round with a bogey. John Rollins has a birdie and an eagle in his first five holes. Cabrera saves par with a long putt at 11.

1823: Casey birdies 12 and is on one under. The Return is in 19 minutes. Talking of Tiger, do you think that we expect too much from our sportsmen and women? We complain about them being boring but when it all starts going belly up they are jumped on by everyone. Not that I'm condoning what has gone on but I just wonder what the reaction would be to the likes of James Hunt or Georgie Best if they were around today. Just a thought.

1817: The Goose is on the move. He birdies 7 and 8 and is on two under. Els birdies 11 to join him. The South African, who has two second-placed finishes at the Masters, has won twice already in 2010. Could this be his year? Marino is back at three under after a birdie at 13. Would you mind awfully manually refreshing this page for me as the clubhouse scores are now starting to come in and we've put the link at the top of this page. It would also get rid of my Westwood error from earlier. I thank you.

Text in your views on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide)
Conrad from London via text: "People are forgetting that it's also Paris-Roubaix this Sunday, the Masters of one-day cycling classics! Add the FA cup semis, the Masters, Heineken Cup semis, Grand National, El Clasico, the start of the MotoGP season - all with a dash of IPL and Super 14 Rugby - there goes the dissertation..."

1809: Casey takes a seven iron at the 12th tee. He tells his caddie "there must be wind for this club". There must be a little bit as he lands the ball on the dancefloor under the hole. Fine shot.

Bobby G in Stratford upon Avon via text: "I think a Tiger stripe arrow must be in order to mark the return of the man."

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Simon in Ayr via text: "What an awesome sporting weekend. Watching the Masters and a 'spring meeting' on the Ailsa in my first year in Turnberry golf club. Cannae beat it!! Go on Lee Westwood!!"

It's good news for a Briton at the Open
1804: Graphic o'clock as Westwood guides his birdie putt into the 12th hole. You beauty. That moves him to two under. Casey saves par at 11.

1759: Casey is still on level par as he puts an approach underneath the 11th pin. Kim slips back to two under after dropping a shot at the 10th. American Nick Watney, who has three top 10 finishes so far this year, birdies 2 and 3 to move to two under.

1755: Manassero takes a seven iron at the par-three 12th and finds the meat of the green. Safe. Westwood steps up, doesn't like something, backs off and then starts again. The result - a fine tee shot that leaves him around six feet away.

Get involved on 606
RememberScarborough on 606: "Isn't it about time one of the majors is taken off the Americans and transferred to another country? If it's solely about the money then I'm sure the likes of Dubai could give the Americans a run for their money."

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Colin from Ireland via text on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide): "With regards to the best weekend for sport... let's not forget Raith Rovers in their first Scottish Cup semi final for 46 years. If Ross Fisher has a top-five finish and Rovers win, then there will be plenty 'Dancing in the streets of Raith' come Sunday evening!! Good luck lads!!"

1746: Mickelson pars the 8th and is on two under. Meanwhile, 16-year-old Italian amateur Matteo Manassero, the youngest player ever to play in the Masters, is going along nicely at one under after 10. Toms birdies 16, his fourth on the back nine, to take the outright lead on four under.

1743: Told you not to listen to me. Watson does a superb job of saving par at 13. He remains at two under. Langer, Toms, Kim and Cabrera all claim birdies to move to three under.

DrGraffiti on Twitter: "Harrington will be storming the leaderboard when he gets going. Just want to tell my work colleagues that I will win the money!"

1733: Whoops, Sabbatini is going backwards. A double bogey at 13 places him on four over. Watson is short with his approach to 13 and finds water. He will not be on two under for much longer. On the subject of Woods, here's a quick reminder that the old boy is set for The Return at 1842 BST. Our coverage of Amen Corner/holes 15 and 16 (which is available online, UK only) breaks off at 1838 to cover the momentous occasion. Your kids will ask you in years to come where you were, do not miss it.

BBC Sport's Iain Carter on Twitter: "144 days since Woods' last competitive round. Last competitive shot off 1st tee here he hit the wildest hook in final day company of Mickelson."

1722: Woosie is leaking more oil than a Ford Anglia. Bogeys at 14 and 16 put him on nine over. Two-time Masters winner Mickelson is in a large group on one under which includes Westwood (after nine), Els (after seven), Sandy Lyle (after three) and Ross Fisher (after two). Retief Goosen (after six) and Paul Casey (after eight) are level par. I've tipped the Goose for victory this weekend by the way, that means that he definitely won't win it.

BBC Sport's Andrew Cotter: "Wonder if I can sneak in a rugby tweet to placate rugby followers. George Gregan is here with Michael Campbell this week. Unfortunately Gregan has as much chance of making cut. Campbell bogeys 1,2,3,4. Real shame - such a talent, but yips with the driver."

1714: This 11th is being a bit of a pain so far today. Marino, who the TV commentators have just called Dan, drops a shot at that very hole to slip back to two under. Watson sinks a nervy tiddler for par at the same hole to retain a share of the lead. Memories of last year's Open at Turnberry are starting to resurface. Too early for that do you think?

BBC Sport's Rob Hodgetts on Twitter: "Very blustery, wind blowing towards clubhouse so 18 downwind, 10th into stiffening gale. And grey, not a patch of blue left. Rain likely."

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Lucy in Newport via text: "I'm more concerned with catching up with the Masters tonight and seeing Tiger's return than watching my beloved Liverpool!!! It 's a family tradition to watch the entire Masters coverage an I have done for 10 years now!!"

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Angus in Cologne, Germany via text: "The weekend has already started - four days of the Masters, FA Cup semi-finals, the Grand National & Real Madrid v Barcelona. A few beers, a few bets and a bit of luck and I may not have to go back to work next week - come on Ernie."

1701: Mark O'Meara, the 1998 Masters champion, plays a beauty into the par-three 12th and gets the birdie he deserves. He is now on two over. Kaymer, meanwhile, is another European player struggling. The German world number nine bogeys 9, 10 and 11 and is four over. Ouch. David Toms is on a roll, claiming shots at the 12th and 13th to join the group on two under.

thebunshop on Twitter: "Greatest sport weekend this year? How about weekends in Feb/March when the Six Nations were on with England cricket & Prem footy?"
Close. Very close. But I think this tops it.

1654: Here's a quick recap on the state of play at the top of the leaderboard. Marino has been steady as she goes since his birdie at the 6th and remains in the lead on three under after 10. Some new bloke called Tom Watson is on two under (after 10) together with Anthony Kim - who won the Houston Open last week - and last year's winner Angel Cabrera.

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Phil, Baker St via text on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide): "Yes, GREAT weekend. The Masters always marks the start of spring for me."

1648: Langer's cheeky little birdie putt at 13 just misses to the left of the hole while Rory Sabbatini's birdie attempt at 11 is short. He remains on one over.

1638: Afternoon all. Is this the best weekend of sport so far this year? Most definitely. I'll be guiding you through to the close of play today you lucky, lucky people. Get involved with your predictions, possible winners and outlandish bets. To have your five minutes use 606, Twitter or text us on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide) with MASTERS before your message and I'll use as many contributions as I can. Awesome. Meanwhile, on the course, Woosie pars the 13th to remain at seven over.

1634: ... seamless.

By Ben Dirs

1630: As Ian Woosnam's slippery birdie putt at 13 slides by, I'll say goodbye for today and hello to Mark Orlovac, who'll be taking you through the rest of the day's play... see you tomorrow...

1627: McDowell's now five over, another shot gone at 10. Geoff Ogilvy is out in four over, he's just made bogey at 9... Apparently Keith Moon's parents wanted him to behave like Peter Alliss.

It's good news for a Briton at the Open
It's bad news for a Briton at the Open
It's bad news for a Briton at the Open
1625: Westwood nicks a shot back at 6, he's back to one under, while Mickelson birdies 3. Oliver Wilson of England has lost three shots at 4 and 5, he's back to two over. Luke Donald has blown up too, he's made three straight bogeys at 6, 7 and 8.

1622: Scott Verplank has just found the water at the par-three 12th - it's really getting blustery out there. Brad Benjamin, an amateur from Rockford, Illinois, finds the guts of the green - he plays leftie, putts rightie. Langer with a right-to-lefter, he'll have a 20-footer for birdie.

1619: Here's my first sighting of the 53-year-old Bernhard Langer, looking ripped as a man half his vintage. But he lets a 10-footer slide by for back-to-back bogeys - he's back to one under. Cabrera and Furyk have birdied the 3rd, they're two under, one behind leader Steve Marino...

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Woody via text on 81111: "Who did Keith Moon's parents want him to behave like?"

It's bad news for a Briton at the Open
1609: The illustrious trio of Furyk, Els and Cabrera are all under par now, but Westwood has bogeyed 4 and 5 to drop back to level par. Tom Watson still chugging away very nicely like a well-lit pipe, he's two under after 7.

It's good news for a Briton at the Open
1605: Paul Casey of England has birdied the par-five 2nd. Here's Brian Gay off the tee at 12, he's bucking the trend and going with a seven rather than an eight... plonk, right in the heart. Marc Leishman finds the rear of the green.

1559: Apparently the BBC leaderboard is claiming Langer as a Dane at the moment, which I can only apologise for. Still, would ne nice for the Danes to win one. Langer, who turned three under, has just dropped a shot at 10 to leave Marino with the outright lead...

1554: Francesco Molinari of Italy, who's also stirred plenty of chat in the build-up to this event, is one under after three. Manassero also dropped a shot at 4 to fall back to level par. Ernie Els, defending champ Cabrera and Phil Mickelson are all now out on course...

1551: Steve Marino has joined Langer on three under after a birdie at 6. Ryo Ishikawa, the young Japanese player, birdies 1 and 2. England's Lee Westwood, heavily fancied this week, birdied 2 and 3 before coming to grief, like so many so far, at 4 to fall back to one under.

1545: There is now video at the top of this page showing Amen Corner and holes 15 and 16 - manually refresh, otherwise it will remain invisible to you. Geoff Ogilvy, who many were tipping to at least be in the mix this weekend, has made three straight bogeys at 4, 5 and 6 and is three over. Luke Donald's bogeyed the 6th to drop back, Oliver Wilson birdied 3 to go one under...

1534: What a start from the 16-year-old Italian Matteo Manassero, the youngest ever Masters competitor - birdie at 1 for the British amateur champion, who also finished 13th in last year's Open. Looks like a doozy of a player. Solid start from Luke Donald, four straight pars.

European Down
1515: Fergie's gonna be happy, his horse has just won at Aintree... Tim Clark, the diminutive South African, has recovered from his bogey at 1 to get back to one under. Mark O'Meara, champion in '98, has kicked off with five straight pars. McDowell's round is imploding - double bogey at 7 to go with his double at 4 and bogey at 6, he's now four over...

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Butters via text on 81111: "I once dressed as giant sandwich for a certain high street food chain and had my picture taken. Does this qualify me as a roll model?"

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Little Johnny (Aged 10), running out of role models, via text on 81111: "The way Tiger behaved appalled me so much I ripped down all the posters of him on my wall and put the Adrian Mutu ones back up instead."

European Up
1515: Fergie's not gonna be happy, Bernhard's gone three under after just seven holes! Outright lead for the German, typical...

1512: Graeme McDowell is in reverse gear - bogey at 6, he's now two over. An Aussie has never won this thing - my how Greg Norman tried - but Geoff Ogilvy is out and about, he's just bogeyed the par-three 4th.

1506: Four players share the lead at two under now: Brian Gay (after seven), Bernhard Langer (six), Tom Watson (three) and Steve Marino (three). Oliver Wilson of England parred the 1st...

1503:Nick 'Not a Role Model' Dishon (see below), I don't believe that any sportsmen or women are necessarily 'role models', not in a personal sense at least. By all means tell your kids to go out and work hard and maybe one day you'll be as good as Tiger or Messi, but the idea that, because someone's a bit handy with a ball or fast at running or whatever, your kids should also behave like him or her off the field of play doesn't make any sense to me. No-one ever told their kids to behave like Keith Moon, why should it be any different for sportspeople?

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Nick 'Not a Role Model' Dishon, Edinburgh, via text on 81111: "Who would you class as a role model nowadays Ben? A politician? Movie star? Singer? Successful sportsmen are heroes. Heroes are role models. If people didn't care about men whacking a pimpled ball about, you'd probably be out of a job!"

1453: Just to clear up some confusion below, Amen Corner is of course the second shot at the 11th, all of the 12th, and the tee shot at the 13th, but we also have coverage of the 15th and 16th as part of the streaming package. The par-three 4th is already causing plenty of grief - doubly bogey for McDowell...

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Paul D, Blackheath, via text on 81111: "Tiger's new ad is a joke, right? Ad agency copies Lion King? 'Simba, you have forgotten me..." "Mustafa?" Get on with golf Tiger, and Nike - get a NEW idea! Shame!"

1447: Not all the old fellas are getting whisky fingers in the Augusta heat: two-time champion Berhard Langer is two under after birdies at 1 and 4. He is tied for the lead with amateur Nathan Smith. Tom Watson, champion in 1981 and 1977, birdied the 1st...

1444: A reminder that live coverage of Amen Corner, plus holes 15 and 16, will start streaming at 1545 BST. Oliver Wilson of England should have teed off just a few minutes ago, as should compatriot Lee Westwood. Another English hope, Paul Casey, should be off in 15.

1441: Of the three US majors, the Masters is the one where overseas players have had most success. Eleven non-Americans have won Green Jackets, and 10 in the last 27 years. Brits won it four years in a row between 1988-1991, with Sandy Lyle and Ian Woosnam bookending two wins from Nick Faldo. South Africa's Rory Sabbatini has birdied the 1st, the much-fancied Martin Kaymer of Germany made bogey.

1433: Woosie's having a shocker - shots gone at 1, 3 and 4 and a double bogey at 5, he's five over already. Craig Stadler, who downed Dan Pohl in a play-off to win a Green Jacket in 1982, is four over after six.

1427: Lots and lots of video on our site at the moment: take your pick froma musical montage of the par-three tournament, an interview with three-time major winner Padraig Harrington (who's definitely not from Britain) or perhaps wallow in some nostalgia courtesy of Jack Nicklaus' victory in 1986.

1421: For that man offering Geography lessons via text, I think you'll find I didn't actually say Padraig was British, only a mad man would make such a mistake. Saying that, have you got any idea where Lyme Regis is? I've got to pay a visit this weekend.

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Anon via text on 81111: "If Tiger is getting his advice from Jason McAteer, expect him to replace the Wirral Wonder with ex-physio-cum-manager Les Parry very soon."

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David, Cumbernauld, via text on 81111: "I would have to agree with the wise Peter Alliss, the two big Swedes are great bets! I've also got my money on Goosen, Toms and outsider Marc Leishman. Tiger is a legend, end of story, let's concentrate on golf."

1414: Brian Gay of the United States has birdied 2 and 3 to move to two under and the outright lead. Louis Oosthuizen is back to level after bogeys at 4 and 6. Graeme McDowell is one under after a birdie at 2, England's Luke Donald has parred the 1st. Woosie's in reverse, he's three over after four.

Get involved on 606
robzaba on 606: "Hi Ben, can't agree re: the role model thing, he was surely a role model to millions of kids in the US and elsewhere. Very poor showing, his behaviour and your apparent defence of it..."

Get involved on 606
kwiniaskagolfer on 606: "Regardless of the value in accepting anyone outside one's family or very closest circle of friends as any kind of role model, surely Billy Payne has no right to be the arbiter."

1400: Two-time champion Bernhard Langer has birdied the par-four 1st. Portrush's Graeme McDowell is off in a few ticks, in fact he should be out there already, looks like we've got some slippage already.

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Mike, Exeter, via text on 81111: "I think the smart money will come with 'The Goose' - Retief Goosen at 25/1, very consistent at Augusta, usually thereabouts going into the last round. As an outsider Steve Flesch at 250/1, top-six finish last two years."

1352: Everyone seen this Tiger Nike advert? Who's Tiger being advised by at the moment, Jason McAteer?

1348: Louis Oosthuizen is rocking and rolling down the front nine - he bogeys 4 to drop back to one under, still atop the leaderboard. Lee in Cheshire, no you're not the first person to mention to "curse of the par three tournament"...

1341: Our man in Augusta Rob Hodgetts, who has been writing some delightful blogs over the past few days, reports that Augusta National chairman Billy Payne was piling up the Tiger digs on the first tee. Of Arnold Palmer he said: "A great champion, an even better person..." And of Jack Nicklaus he said: "For many years Jack dominated the world of golf like never before or since..." Cheeky...

1338: An early correction - the PGA website gave me a bum steer on Oosthuizen - he is two under after three, but only after a par and two birdies. I'll be using the Masters leaderboard from now on... Woosie's bogeyed the 1st...

1331: Anon (see below), funny you should say that because a few people have stuck money on Couples in this office. You can get the 1992 champion at 100s, I reckon that's a pretty smart each way bet. Personally, I've gone for Villegas, McIlroy (never gonna happen) and Ernie Els.

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Anon via text on 81111: "This is a long shot, but what do you think about Fred Couples? He has won his last three Champions Tour events and is obviously in good form. He would be a good little each way bet..."

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James via text on 81111: "Hi Ben, I'm with you. Tiger is a golfer. That's all. Not a preacher, politician or teacher! I don't remember Nick Faldo getting all this grief for his colourful love life!"

1325: Oosthuizen has just eagled the par-five 2nd - he's now one under. John Merrick birdied the 1st to join him under par.

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Chris S via text on 81111: "Weather could be a huge factor today - those playing in the morning will have by far the best of the conditions. Good news for Westwood, Donald, Casey - less great for Padraig, Poulter and a certain Mr Woods."

1320: The first trio have completed the opening hole - Australia's Nathan Green and American Heath Slocum made par, South African Louis Oosthuizen made bogey. By the way, before everyone starts moaning that I'm not providing much detail (as happens every year) I should remind you that there is no coverage at the moment, and won't be until the Amen Corner stream kicks in at 1545 BST.

1315: Of course, I got my Swedes mixed up, it's Robert Karlsson who is 6ft 5in, not Henrik. Peter Alliss is tipping them both this week.

1312: Here are some details of when you can watch coverage on the BBC: the stream of Amen Corner/holes 15 and 16 starts at 1545 BST (online, UK only). That will break off at 1838 for 15 minutes to cover Tiger Woods' first tee shot (the shot that will be heard across the universe), before going back and stopping for good at 2215 BST. Then from 2100 BST it all kicks off on BBC Two until the close of play (and that's also online). That enough?

1309: Some weather news from the wires: it's started out pretty enough but they're now talking about storms sweeping through in the afternoon, which could be a choker for the later starters. The BBC weather people have put together a Masters package , which was nice of them.

1305: Hello Baz (see below). Yes, but that wasn't really my point, my point was that who suggests to their kids that some bloke who plays golf (or any sport for that matter) should be their role model? You're far better off following the lessons of the People's Princess, or perhaps the Queen of Hearts. Did I escape?

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Baz via text on 81111: "Sorry Ben, your first Tiger comment has landed you in the rough: Tiger was being paid by sponsors four his image. On and off the course."

1256: BBC Points West have put together a package on Bristol's Masters debutant Chris Wood - at 6ft 5in he's the joint tallest player on show with Sweden's Henrik Stenson, and he finished tied for third at last year's Open. He'll be playing his first two rounds in the company of Greg Norman's old heart-breaker Larry Mize and Ryan Palmer.

1250: Woosie, winner in 1991, is the first of the Brits off at 1312 BST, followed by Graeme McDowell at 1334; Luke Donald 1356; Oliver Wilson 1429; Lee Westwood 1440; Paul Casey 1502; Simon Dyson 1557; Chris Wood 1608; Sandy Lyle 1619; Ross Fisher 1641; Rory McIlroy 1736; Ian Poulter 1831. Padraig's out and about at 1820, defending champion Cabrera at 1524 and the world's number one at 1842...

1238: ... and it just got spicier: first chairman Billy Payne came out with some baloney (I'm trying to get a sausage reference into every entry) about Tiger Woods not being a proper role model for all our children (I'm not sure some bloke who whacks a dimpled ball around for a living was ever really a realistic role model), and now former Ryder Cup skipper Bernard Gallacher has upbraided Woods for swearing and spitting and such like. Jack and Arnie have just teed off - they're only honorary starters, but the old fellas have got 10 wins between them.

1230: And so to Augusta National, a course so beguiling it looks like it was designed by Willy Wonka. Always one of my favourite weekends in sport, and this time round it's going to be spicier than Angel Cabrera's chorizo sausage starter.

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see also
Masters tee times
11 Apr 10 |  Golf
Masters photos - day one
08 Apr 10 |  Golf
Woods hits form but Couples leads
09 Apr 10 |  Golf
Woods grateful for warm reception
09 Apr 10 |  Golf
Augusta Masters Weather Forecast
08 Apr 10 |  News
Woods dominates Masters build-up
07 Apr 10 |  Golf
Woods 'failed to be a role model'
08 Apr 10 |  Golf
BBC Sport's Masters preview
07 Apr 10 |  Golf
All eyes on Augusta
07 Apr 10 |  Golf
Oosthuizen claims par-3 Contest
07 Apr 10 |  Golf
Mickelson expects Woods challenge
07 Apr 10 |  Golf
England due for major win - Casey
06 Apr 10 |  Golf
Photos of Tiger Woods at Augusta
04 Apr 10 |  Golf
'Hurt' Woods targets Masters win
05 Apr 10 |  Golf
Golf on the BBC
01 Jul 11 |  Golf

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