Adam Scott makes a great start at The 2014 Masters.
Adam Scott has made a strong start to his defence of the green jacket at Augusta National by shooting a 3-under par 69 to be a shot behind the leader, American Bill Haas.
Haas’ round could have been anything. He made bogeys and the first and 17th holes but fired sic opening round birdies to take the lead on the opening day. Haas had made the cut on his previous four attempts at the Masters but has never finished better than a tie for 20th place.
His father Jay Haas has a great record at Augusta. In his 22 starts in The Masters, he had five top-10 finishes including a tie for third place in 1995.
Scott’s round included just the one blemish. Scott found the water at the par-3 12th – the first occasion Scott has ever hit his ball into Rae’s Creek on the hole – and carded a double-bogey 5 to briefly drop behind the leaders.
A birdie at 14 saw Scott jump back into second place – eventually carding a 3-under 69 in a round that included hitting 10 of 14 fairways, 14 greens in regulation and 30 putts.
Despite calm, sunny conditions, Bubba Watson was the only player in the field to shoot a bogey-free round and the 2012 Masters champion lurks alongside Scott just a shot behind Haas.
Marc Leishman got off to an up-and-down start. Two birdies and two bogeys meant Leishman made the turn at even par but a birdie at the 13th and 18th holes – after a magnificent approach shot – had Leishman in great position to go even better than 2013.
Pre-tournament favourite Rory McIlroy looks in good touch carding an opening round 1-under 71. Fred Couples is once again among the leaders also finishing his round on 1-under par but he wasn’t the only old guy to surprise on day one.
Two-time Masters champion Bernhard Langer has struggled to make the cut over the previous few years at Augusta but he reeled back the years to post an even-par round and be within striking distance of Haas.