Lee Westwood has a one-shot advantage after the opening round of the Masters Tournament, where Henrik Stenson fell out of the lead with a quadruple-bogey 8 on the final hole and Tiger Woods is five shots behind after an even-par 72.
Westwood, who’s ranked third in the world, had seven birdies and two bogeys in a round of 5-under-par 67 at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. He’s one shot better than 2010 British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, who birdied four of the final five holes for a 68, and Peter Hanson.
“I’ve played here enough now,” said Westwood, who matched his lowest score in 43 career rounds at the Masters. “I’ve learnt the golf course and feel comfortable on it, so it eradicates a lot of the tension.”
Stenson led by as many as four shots and was 5 under at the 18th tee before closing his round of 71 with a quadruple bogey. Stenson, who turned 36 today, had opened the Masters with scores of 83 and 80 the past two years.
“It was a disappointing finish, but I had fun out there,” said Stenson, a Swede who matched his best score in 19 rounds at the Masters. “It’s a new day tomorrow.”
Woods, a four-time Masters champion and the pre-tournament favorite, was 2-under par before bogeys on the last two holes.
Woods ended a 2 1/2-year U.S. PGA Tour victory drought two weeks ago and is seeking his first major title since the 2008 U.S. Open. He has opened the Masters with a round at par or better in six of the past seven years.
‘Hung in There’
“I hit some of the worst golf shots I’ve ever hit,” Woods said in a televised interview. “It’s all right. I hung in there. I could have shot maybe one or two better, but I got a lot out of that round.”
Paul Lawrie, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Francesco Molinari and Americans Ben Crane, Jason Dufner and Bubba Watson shot rounds of 3-under 69.
Former Masters champions Zach Johnson and Vijay Singh are among those at 2 under. Defending champion Charl Schwartzel opened with an even-par 72, three shots worse than his first-round score a year ago.
World No. 1 Luke Donald shot a 3-over-par 75, his worst opening-round score in eight Masters appearances.
Donald’s score was cleared after being reviewed by Masters organizers, who determined an administrative error resulted in an incorrect score being entered into the tournament’s scoring system. Donald could have been disqualified if he had signed for an incorrect score.
U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy rebounded from an opening double bogey to shoot a 1-under 71. McIlroy shot a first-round 65 at the 2011 Masters and led the tournament in the final round before shooting 7-over par for the final nine holes.
Three-time Masters winner Phil Mickelson, who went off in today’s final group, shot a 2-over-par 74. Mickelson had five birdies, four bogeys and a triple-bogey on the par-4 10th hole, where he lost a ball after hitting a drive into the woods.
“I made a lot of mistakes and I’m only 2 over,” said Mickelson, who has finished in the top 10 in 11 of his past 13 Masters appearances. “I’m excited about that. If I can get hot tomorrow, I’m right back in it.”