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Garcia, Leishman Tied for Lead

Woods cannot be counted out

April 12, 2013
By PAUL NEWBERRY, AP National Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

AUGUSTA, Ga. - Sergio Garcia is still chasing that first major title.

It never figured to come at Augusta National.

But there he was Thursday, after a bogey-free opening round, sharing the top spot on the leaderboard at the Masters.

Article Photos

Sergio Garcia, of Spain, tips his cap on the 18th green after finishing the first round of the Masters Tournament Thursday afternoon.

Garcia's 6-under 66 tied him with Aussie Marc Leishman, on a cloudy day that was made for going low. There wasn't much wind until late in the afternoon, when a storm front approached Augusta.

The Spaniard took advantage, rekindling memories of the teen phenom known as "El Nino," who seemed certain to win numerous major titles after he battled with Woods at the 1999 PGA Championship, losing by a single stroke.

Garcia has challenged in other majors, but rarely at the Masters - a course that doesn't seem to fit his style or shaky putter. In 14 previous appearances at Augusta National, he has finished in the top 10 only twice.

Fact Box


At Augusta National Golf Club

Augusta, Ga.

Yardage: 7,435; Par: 72 (36-36)

First Round


Marc Leishman35-31-66

Sergio Garcia32-34-66

Dustin Johnson33-34-67

Fred Couples34-34-68

Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano34-34-68

Rickie Fowler34-34-68

Trevor Immelman35-33-68

Matt Kuchar33-35-68

David Lynn33-35-68

Adam Scott34-35-69

Jim Furyk33-36-69

Zach Johnson36-33-69

K.J. Choi34-36-70

Tim Clark35-35-70

Jason Day36-34-70

John Huh36-34-70

Kevin Na38-32-70

Justin Rose34-36-70

Brandt Snedeker35-35-70

David Toms36-34-70

Lee Westwood36-34-70

Tiger Woods34-36-70

Angel Cabrera36-35-71

Luke Donald36-35-71

Ernie Els36-35-71

Ryo Ishikawa34-37-71

Bernhard Langer35-36-71

Phil Mickelson38-33-71

Ryan Moore37-34-71

John Peterson36-35-71

Charl Schwartzel36-35-71

Bo Van Pelt36-35-71

Jason Dufner37-35-72

Bill Haas35-37-72

Brian Gay35-37-72

Peter Hanson36-36-72

Russell Henley36-36-72

Freddie Jacobson36-36-72

Martin Kaymer35-37-72

Rory McIlroy34-38-72

Vijay Singh35-37-72

D.A. Points35-37-72

John Senden35-37-72

Mike Weir38-34-72

Y.E. Yang36-36-72

Keegan Bradley38-35-73

Thomas Bjorn37-36-73

Graeme McDowell35-38-73

a-Guan Tianlang38-35-73

Michael Thompson37-36-73

Sandy Lyle37-36-73

Larry Mize36-37-73

Webb Simpson38-35-73

Richard Sterne37-36-73

Steve Stricker40-33-73

Nicolas Colsaerts38-36-74

Jamie Donaldson35-39-74

Lucas Glover38-36-74

John Merrick40-34-74

Francesco Molinari38-36-74

Mark O'Meara35-39-74

Jose Maria Olazabal38-36-74

Louis Oosthuizen38-36-74

Stewart Cink36-39-75

George Coetzee39-36-75

Matteo Manassero37-38-75

Scott Piercy38-37-75

Henrik Stenson36-39-75

Bubba Watson38-37-75

Ben Curtis36-40-76

Robert Garrigus39-37-76

Martin Laird36-40-76

Paul Lawrie37-39-76

Hunter Mahan39-37-76

Carl Pettersson36-40-76

Ted Potter Jr.37-39-76

Ian Poulter38-38-76

a-Steven Fox36-40-76

Kevin Streelman36-40-76

a-Nathan Smith39-38-77

a-T.J. Vogel39-38-77

Branden Grace38-40-78

Padraig Harrington38-40-78

Thorbjorn Olesen37-41-78

Nick Watney39-39-78

a-Michael Weaver39-39-78

Hiroyuki Fujita38-41-79

Craig Stadler38-41-79

Thaworn Wiratchant41-38-79

Tom Watson40-39-79

Ian Woosnam40-40-80

Ben Crenshaw40-40-80

a-Alan Dunbar46-37-83

Last year, after a dismal third round took him out of contention, he bluntly conceded that he didn't think he was capable of winning a major.

Obviously, he feels different now - though there's still some trepidation in his voice about what's still to come.

"Every time I tee off in a tournament, the goal is to play the best I can and have a chance at winning. That doesn't change this week," Garcia said. "Today was a nice day, one of those days you really enjoy. Hopefully I'll have three more of those and we'll see what happens on Sunday night."

With all eyes on Tiger Woods, the overwhelming favorite, plenty of others stood out amid the azaleas and towering Georgia pines.

There was David Lynn, a Masters rookie who was just two strokes back.

Lynn was the early clubhouse leader, then Leishman surged to the front with four straight birdies on the back side starting at No. 13. The Australian sure didn't play like someone who had missed the cut in his only other Masters appearance, in 2010.

Dustin Johnson was one shot off the lead after a 67. Lynn was joined at 68 by a group that included Rickie Fowler, who went on the wildest ride of the day - a 4-under score despite two double-bogeys.

Jamie Donaldson turned in the shot of the day, acing the 180-yard sixth for the 24th hole-in-one in Masters history. He is only the fifth player to make a 1 at the hole known as Juniper, with its towering tee box and a green at the bottom of the hill. Donaldson was the first to do it since Chris DiMarco in 2004.

Woods was still the favorite after opening with a 70.

But it appears he'll have a lot of competition.

"I felt like I putted well today," said Woods, whose only lower opening-round score at Augusta was a 68 in 2010. "We've got a long way to go. I've just got to out there and play shot for shot. The golf course is going to change dramatically. You've just got to make adjustments."

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