Friday, April 11, 2008

The Masters - Round 1 Wrap

While pre-tournament favorite Tiger Woods plodded his way to an even-par 72, Rose and Immelman both fired 68s. The first round was delayed an hour because of fog, but the field finished just before dark.

"I think what (the trip) did was it took the pressure off the practice days this week," Rose said. "I was just trying to hold myself back and not get too excited."

Rose started 2 over after five holes before making birdie on six of the next eight. He holds a share of the first-round lead for the third time in four Masters appearances. He led last year and finished tied for fifth. He was also in the lead in 2004 but ended up tied for 22nd after a third-round 81.

"I have learned you can't count your chickens too early," Rose said.

Immelman, the last player to record a hole-in-one at the Masters in 2005, has just one top-50 finish in five previous Masters appearances. He shot a 34 on both sides.

"You know in major championships, you can't get too far ahead of yourself and you can't get too overconfident," Immelman said.

No first-round leader has won the Masters since Ben Crenshaw in 1984, and the two friends certainly have plenty of company.

On a course Woods said played tough as some U.S. Open courses, only 18 players broke par, but 42 are within six shots of the lead.

Brian Bateman, Brandt Snedeker and Lee Westwood are one shot back after carding 69. Poulter, Robert Karlsson, defending champion Zach Johnson, Stephen Ames and Jim Furyk fired 70s.

Among the eight players at 71 are two-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson, Retief Goosen and former winner Mark O'Meara.

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