By Ann Liguori
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England, South Africa, Sweden, Scotland, Spain, Italy and USA… it’s an international leaderboard at the Masters. Former No. 1 Lee Westwood enjoyed an early lead after the first round.
Westwood fired a 5 under 67 and has a one-shot lead over Louis Oosthuizen and Peter Hansen. Westwood grabbed the sole lead with a birdie on the 17th. Westwood hit 16 of 18 greens in regulation and with that ‘67,’ ties his lowest round here at The Masters. Although Westwood has 33 victories in his career, he has yet to win a Major Championship. He placed second here in 2010.
Oosthuizen and Peter Hanson carded 4 under 68’s. Paul Lawrie, Angel Miguel Jimenez, Francesco Molinari, Ben Crane, Jason Dufner and Bubba Watson, all finished with 3 under 69’s. Zach Johnson and Jim Furyk are amongst a group three shots behind.
Rory McIlroy birdied the last two holes to join a group at 1 under. He started with a double on the very first hole but settled in after that, sinking five birdies, to shoot a 71, four shots behind the leader.
When asked what was going through his mind on the tenth tee (after last year’s tee shot visited the cottages way left of the fairway), McIlroy replied, “I wasn’t going left, that’s for sure!” In fact, Rory’s tee shot landed right of the fairway but he managed to score a par on that hole.
Tiger came out of the gate, snap hooking his tee shot, on the first two holes. But he managed to save par on both holes. Tiger bogied the last two holes to finish with an even par 72.
Phil Mickelson was able to salvage his round, after losing his ball off the tee on the tenth hole. His tee shot went way left and he ended up taking a triple bogey there. Lefty birdied 13, bogied 14, and birdied the last hole to end up with a ‘plus 2’, 74.
Lefty, wearing his Green Jacket, showed up to watch the three honorary starters – Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus – at 7.40 in the morning, despite having the last tee time at 1.53pm.
And although it’s Henrik Stenson’s birthday, he may not be in the celebrating mood. The Swede led by as many as three in the early going, after eagles on both of the par fives on the front, but a snowman on the 18th dropped him to 1 under, four shots behind the leader.
Be sure to catch Ann’s reports from the Masters on WFAN. For more information on Ann, visit her web site at www.annliguori.com.
What’s your prediction for Day 2? Be heard in the comments below!