Sport Golf Jason Day, Adam Scott treading water after first round at Masters, Charley Hoffman leads
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Jason Day, Adam Scott treading water after first round at Masters, Charley Hoffman leads

Marc Leishman is eight shots back of leader Charley Hoffman after round one at the Masters in Augusta. Photo: Getty
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UPDATE 11AM: Australian golfer Marc Leishman is relishing the challenge of brutal winds forecast for round two of the Masters, believing his career-best form and tolerance for breezes are an advantage at Augusta National.

The 33-year-old Leishman braved gusts of more than 40km/h during a solid opening round of one-over-par 73 at the year’s first major.

The Victorian native is the leading Australian, eight shots back of leader Charley Hoffman, who fired a scintillating round of 65 to climb to seven under.

The 40-year-old Hoffman will start round two four shots ahead of William McGirt (69),with Englishman Lee Westwood (70) a shot back in third at two under.

Australia’s Jason Day has overcome a difficult start, while Adam Scott endured a mixed opening round at the US Masters.

Day finished the first round at 2-over par 74 in a tie for 28th spot, five shots behind early joint leader William McGirt, who carded a 3-under 69. Jason Dufner was also tied for the lead through 14 holes.

Day started slowly, bogeying the third hole to be 1-over par after the first nine holes, before double-bogeying the 11th to fall further back.

But two birdies on the 15th and 16th saw Day take flight to narrow his score to 1-over, but dropped another shot on the 17th.

Scott, who broke Australia’s drought at Augusta in 2013, finished at 3-over for the day.

He opened with a bogey on the difficult par-4 first hole, but bounced back with a birdie on the sixth.

Bogeys would follow on the ninth and 11th holes, while two birdies on the 13th and 16th sandwiched a bogey on the par-five 15th.

Scott closed the inconsistent round meekly with two bogeys on the last two holes to card a first round of 75.

Compatriot Marc Leishman is in the hunt at 1-under after six holes, while Rod Pampling is 2-over after 15.

Aussie amateur Curtis Luck is 3-over through 11.

Johnson out after fall

Meanwhile world number one Dustin Johnson withdrew from the Masters minutes before he was scheduled to tee off.

The 32-year-old had spent the past 23 hours receiving treatment for a lower back injury he sustained when falling down the stairs at his rented Augusta house on Wednesday afternoon.

The big-hitting American walked from the driving range to the practice putting green, stating he was going to “give it a try” but informed tournament officials of his decision to withdraw from the year’s first major moments later.

“The issue is I can’t swing full. I can’t make my normal swing and I didn’t think there was any chance I could compete,” Johnson said.

“I didn’t get much sleep but I wanted to play.”

Johnson, the heavy Masters favourite after winning his past three starts, went through a tentative warm-up routine and was on the practice putting green moments before his 4:03am tee time.

Charlie Hoffman sat in outright third spot after 10 holes at 2-under.

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