Sergio Garcia and Marc Leishman tied for the lead on six under after first round of the Masters
Last Updated: 12/04/13 5:52pm
Sergio Garcia enjoyed a faultless opening day at the 77th Masters as he claimed a share of the lead with Marc Leishman at a benign Augusta National.
The Spaniard, who raised eyebrows last year when he claimed he was "not good enough" to win a major, certainly played like a champion in a vintage six-birdie 66.
First round leaderboard
(USA unless stated, par 72)
-6 S Garcia (Spn)
-6 M Leishman (Aus)
-5 D Johnson
-4 F Couples
-4 G Fernandez-Castano (Spn)
-4 R Fowler
-4 M Kuchar
-4 T Immelman (SA)
-4 D Lynn (Eng)
Click here for collated scores
The 33-year-old has not led a major since the 2007 Open Championship, but he signalled his intent early on with two birdies in the first three holes and two more at six and nine took him to the turn in 32.
He converted another excellent approach at the 10th, and he picked up his first birdie at a par-five on the 15th before parring in to remain tied at the top with Leishman.
The unheralded Australian upstaged early pace-setter David Lynn when he made four consecutive birdies from the 13th in a sparkling back-nine 31 that earned him the clubhouse lead.
Dustin Johnson made it a three-way share of the lead when he rolled in his sixth birdie putt of the day at the 15th, but he joined a long list of players to come unstuck at the 17th as he settled for a 67.
Lynn celebrated his Masters debut by setting a testing target in the clubhouse at four under, which featured a rare three at the first and a run of four birdies in five holes around the turn.
His 68 was matched by five other players including Rickie Fowler, who double bogeyed both the first and 10th before playing the last eight in four under - the highlight being an eagle at 15.
Veteran Fred Couples rolled back the years once again at his favourite venue, nailing his sixth birdie at 17 before slipping into the tie for fourth with a scrappy bogey at the last.
Trevor Immelman, who has been beset by injury and illness since winning in 2008, made a welcome return to form with a bogey-free 68, while Matt Kuchar and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano - who also bogeyed the last - completed the four-under scores.
Tiger Woods struggled with the pace of the greens but declared himself satisfied with a "solid" two-under 70 alongside English pair Justin Rose and Lee Westwood, who fought back admirably after a six at the first.
But Rory McIlroy failed to build on an encouraging front-nine 34, dropping careless shots at 10, 12 and 17 as he opened with a frustrating 72.
And arguably the round of the day came from 14-year-old Chinese schoolboy Guan Tianlang, the youngest player in Masters history compiling a creditable 73 to lead the race for top amateur honours.