Sport Golf Leishman in the mix during opening round of Masters at Augusta National
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Leishman in the mix during opening round of Masters at Augusta National

US Masters golf marc leishman
Leishman picked up four birdies in his first 14 holes before the disastrous double bogey. Photo: AAP
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A double bogey on the par-five 15th may have robbed Marc Leishman of an early Masters lead, but he is well in the mix during the opening round at Augusta National.

Playing in the same group as Tiger Woods, the 34-year-old Australian posted a solid score of two-under-par 70 to sit just two shots off the pace.

China’s Haotong Li and Tony Finau (15 holes) top the leaderboard at four under, while former British Open winner Henrik Stenson, Patrick Reed, Charley Hoffman and Canadian Adam Hadwin (all 69) are a shot back at three under.

Finau has emerged as a remarkable leader given he dislocated his ankle celebrating a hole-in-one during the par-3 contest on Wednesday and was a chance of withdrawing from the event.

Leishman was the hottest player early on day one – picking up four birdies in his first 14 holes – before the disastrous double-bogey seven at the par-5 15th.

The Victorian hit his second shot over the back of the green and his chip rolled into the water hazard, forcing him to take a drop and re-chip before settling for a costly big number.

Leishman easily upstaged Woods, who got his highly anticipated Masters comeback off to a good start when he birdied the par-4 third.

But a series of errors from the tee saw four-time Augusta champion Woods finish at one-over with a 73.

At one under, Cameron Smith is next best of the Australians having posted a 71 while fellow Queenslander Jason Day struggled to a 75 to sit at three over.

Day’s round got off to an odd start when he sent his second shot into a patron’s beer on the first hole and although he received a free drop Day still suffered a bogey.

A shot back of Day is Adam Scott and the 2013 Masters winner is battling at four over through 12 holes.

However, the most dramatic moment of the day came when defending champion Sergio Garcia racked up 13 shots at the par-5 15th – matching the highest score recorded at any hole at the Masters.
Garcia drowned five balls in the pond guarding the green en route to a disastrous nine-over 81.

-AAP