Date: April 12, 2013
Author: Omnisport

Leishman in share of Masters lead

Australian Marc Leishman and world number 16 Sergio Garcia are joint first-round leaders of the Masters at Augusta. Leishman began his tournament in less than ideal fashion with a bogey on the first hole and could only manage two birdies on his front nine at the third and eighth. But the 29-year-old clicked into gear at the turn, reeling off another five birdies – including four in a row between the 13th and 16th holes – in a faultless back nine to record a six-under-par first round of 66. Spaniard Garcia, meanwhile, finished the day with no blemishes on his scorecard which featured six birdies at holes one, three, six, nine, 10 and 15 to share first place with Leishman. Leishman now has a great chance of making the cut in the competition for the first time and will be aiming to improve on his best previous finish at a major which was achieved at last year&aposs PGA Championship when he ended up equal 27th. Adam Scott is the next best Australian in a tie for 10th position on three under after managing a first round of 69 while compatriot Jason Day (70) is equal 13th on two under following an eventful day which consisted of six birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey at the sixth. John Senden (72) is two shots further back at even par in a share of 34th spot. Leishman and Garcia are one stroke ahead American Dustin Johnson who is outright third after achieving a five-under 67 which was highlighted by an eagle at the 13th. Johnson is followed by a group of six on four under in equal fourth spot which includes his countrymen Rickie Fowler, Matt Kuchar and Fred Couples, Garcia&aposs compatriot Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, South African Trevor Immelman and Englishman David Lynn. Pre-tournament favourite and 14-time major winner Tiger Woods began his assault on a fifth green jacket in solid fashion, carding three birdies and a bogey on his way to a two-under-par 70 to sit in equal 13th position. The man Woods recently replaced as the world&aposs number one golfer, Rory McIlroy, continued his form struggles, finishing the day even after a round of 72 which consisted of five birdies that were offset by as many bogeys. Reigning champion Bubba Watson made a horrible start to his title defence, finishing Thursday three over the card, as he could only manage a birdie and four bogeys on his way to a 75. Tianlang Guan of China, who at 14 years of is the youngest competitor in the history of the Masters, remarkably looks like a good chance to make the cut after carding a first-round one-over 73.