Masters day 1: Scott leads Aussies

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Adam Scott on his way to an opening 69 in Augusta. Image: Getty

Adam Scott boosted the familiar environment of Augusta National to clinch again today with the Masters, along with a morbid Jason Day and fellow Queenslander Cameron Smith.

But it's multiple big winner Brooks Koepka and another American, Bryson DeChambeau, who have to be hounded after shooting 66s on the opening day of the first big of the year.

Scott, the Masters champion of 2013, opened beautifully with a three-under par 69 on a course set-up that played hard on the opening day, with a shared sixth place overall. "It's the dream start," he told the broadcaster later. "It's what you want to make happen here."

The 38-year-old is three shots from the leader of the 2017 Open 2018 and 2018 US Open champion and 2018 US PGA champion Koepka, who opened with a 66 along with DeChambeau, who birdied the last three holes including an almost-ace on the 16th , a chip-in on the 17th and a spring back of the flag pole on the 18th.

Koepka and DeChambeau are a shot for three-man winner Phil Mickelson (67) and another shot for the Englishman Ian Poulter and world number 2 Dustin Johnson on four-under 68. Four-time winner Tiger Woods is also in the mix at 70, but favorite Rory McIlroy is well back after an opening 73 with bogeys on his last two holes.

Most of the best players in the world are there, and in a combined ranking there are enough Australians in the bill. Queenslander Cameron Smith (equivalent 11th) also started well with a two-substandard 70, Day was struggling through the track but managed to cobble a 70 and Victorian Marc Leishman opened with an even par 72.

The status of Day for the rest of the tournament is unclear. He still fights the back injury he sustained earlier this season and forced him into a series of epidural injections, and he got worse this morning as he picked up his daughter, Lucy, on the putting green. At the second hole he had physical therapy on the course and he clearly looked uncomfortable all day.

But he worked through the pain and when he rolled himself into a putt for birdie on the par-three 16th, he was right in court, before a three-burner bogey on the 17th took some of his momentum.

Scott started quietly but birdied the par-five eighth hole of the pony and then struck it tightly against the pine cane at the ninth to take a new shot with a pit sliding from left to right. He became hot afterwards, despite a bogey on the iconic par-three 12th. Take birdies on the par-five 13th, take a nice photo on the green on the par-five 15th for another and then take birdie on the 17th and 18th from just over three meters to play three-under cards.

"A few tough pins today, a few pins I've never seen before," he said later. "It felt like it was hard to attack even though you hit it well and I set it up from 30 feet most of the day and it's hard to make them. But I remained patient."

The Queenslander was particularly encouraged by its finish, with three birdies in the last four holes. "I got some good numbers and I managed to get the ball neatly under the hole and make a few putts. & # 39; & # 39;

Smith, who finished in the top five last year, almost knocked out the par-three 16th and was generally stable in his opening 70.

Leishman had three bogeys and a double bogey on the par-four 10th but threw some good golf to shoot 72 and not cause too much damage to his case. At the age of 10, he found himself in an uncomfortable position near the greenside bunker, eventually hopping a lob in the sand and making a six.

But Scott was ubiquitous as the most prominent Australian in view of his good move of late, and he justified optimism. "I'm glad I won't have to go that far back in the coming days," he said.

The 28-year-old Koepka was the eye-catcher, with five birdies in a back nine out of 31 in a week, when he was accused by TV analyst Brandel Chamblee of "reckless self-sabotage." Koepka admitted that he recently lost some weight for an ESPN photo shoot, which led to Chamble's accusation of bloated ego, but he had the last laugh today.

He has won three of the last six majors he has contested. He is a considerable force on this level, to say the least, and had not slipped his birdie putt on the 18th under the hole he would have led to himself.

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