2012 Masters: day one as it happened

Lee Westwood secures a one-shot lead from Louis Oosthuizen and Peter Hanson, while Rory McIlroy finishes stongly after a poor start but Luke Donald struggles on day one of the 76th Masters at Augusta National.

6 April 2012 Last updated at 01:41

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As it happened

  1. 0040: 

    Righto, that's me for the day, my Welsh friend Aimee Lewis will take you through the early shots tomorrow before I take over at 5ish. Night.


    Gareth Soye: "You all better get your excuses ready for when Westwood makes his obligatory mess of this."


    Thomas Acland: "Why bother analysing Tiger's Thursday at the Masters? Every year he plays badly and somehow shoots 71 or 72."


    Richard: "Got a couple of quid on a punt. That punt is Peter Hanson. Confident round today, let's hope it stays that way into the wknd."

    Rob Hodgetts, BBC Sport at Augusta

    On Twitter: "Mickelson describes his round as 'Tarzananeous'. 'I've never seen jungle like that here (on 10th) & I've never lost a ball here.'"


    Conor Spackman on Twitter: "Rory four shots off the lead. He, better than anyone, knows a four-shot lead at Augusta can be overcome."


    World number two Rory McIlroy after his round of 71, one-under-par: "I'm a lot more pleased coming off the golf course than if I had finished par and to come off under-par is pleasing.

    "My perseverance and patience paid off and it was nice to finish as I did, but I'm surprised someone didn't go lower than five today."

  8. 0017: 

    I think the consensus of opinion is that it was a grinder's round at Augusta today - no real fireworks, lots of players engaged in an attritional battle and just making sure to get through the round and survive another day. You do have to say, however, that Westwod looked ominous - driving like a Rolls-Royce, he could take some stopping if he can do something similar tomorrow.


    First-day leader Lee Westwood after his five-under-par 67: "That's my lowest round around this golf course. I played well. There was no weakness out there in my game. I hit it close, hit a lot of fairways and rolled in some nice putts.

    "I've been playing well all year. I've played well in the bigger tournaments and around the tougher golf courses like the Honda, so I was pretty confident. But trying not to let myself get carried away. I just wanted to come out and start steady and strong and play my way into the tournament, which I've done."

  10. 0014: 

    Mahan's par putt is the last shot of day one and it's in for a round of 72. It was a good day - England's Lee Westwood atop of the pack on five under par, the top of the leaderboard packed with Europeans.



    -5 Westwood (Eng); -4 Ousthuizen (SA) Hanson (Swe); -3 Lawrie, Jimenez (Sp), F Molinari (Ita) Selected others: -2 Singh (Fij), Johnson; -1 Fisher (Eng), Harrington, McIlroy (NI); level Woods, Kaymer (Ger), Poulter (Eng), Garcia (Sp), Rose (Eng), +1 Clarke (NI); +2 Ogilvy, Mickelson; +3 Olazabal (Sp), McDowell (NI), Donald (Eng).

    Full leaderboard (official website);

    Tee times;

    Clubhouse scores

  12. 0011: 

    Splendid sunshine bathes the 18th green as Hanson putts through occasional shadows... fine effort from long range, in for par and a round of 68, which leaves him tied for second. Mahan for birdie for 20-odd feet... bit weedy but he should make that for a 72. Now it's Mickelson's turn... BOSH! Sinks it, birdie at the last for a round of 74, that could prove massive.

  13. 0006: 

    Mahan didn't like that approach at 18 at all - if you or I had reacted like that, it would have meant it had gone backwards between our legs. In Mahan's case, it finishes about 15 feet from the cup. Mickelson finds the guts of the short stuff.

  14. 0004: 

    Great clutch putt from Watson at 18, he's in with a 69 and is two off the lead. Cabrera is also in with a 71 courtesy of an eight-footer at the last, and then there were three, Hanson, Mickelson and Mahan...

  15. 0002: 

    Only a few groups left out there and the sun appears to have reapplied his hat. Mickelson has club problems - he asks permission to tighten his club up, gets clearance, and its bombs away down the 18th. Birdie for McIlroy at 18, 3-3 finish, he's in the clubhouse at one under.

  16. 2359: 

    So much spin on that approach from Cabrera that it did its best to clamber back up the slope, but soon loses its footing. Very clever third from Bubba on 18, a little punchy number, and he's got a chance to save par.

  17. 2357: 

    Umbrellas up in the galleries, if not on the course. Hanson for birdie on 17 and that's straight down the pipe, the Swede moves to four under and a share of second. Watson out of a bunker on 18 and he clips the top, his ball coming up well short of the green.

    Garcia slides his par putt by at 18 and that's a 72 for the Spaniard. Here's Rory with his second at 18 and that's a pretty good effort, bending it round the trees and onto the back of the green.

  18. 2353: 

    Jim Furyk hasn't been in the greatest of nick of late but the world number 50 birdied 18 today for a round of 70. Paul Casey of England carded a 76 today, suggesting his game isn't quite sharp enough after that three-month lay-off because of a snowboarding injury. Mahan stays level after 17.

  19. 2350: 

    Bubba finds sand off the tee at 18, Cabrera cuts his into the trees. Not sure where McIlroy went, but I'll update you in a minute.


    Gather Soye on Twitter: "Come Sunday the Green Jacket will look cooler than it ever has done, on the shoulders of a 48-year-old Spaniard."

  21. 2343: 

    McIlroy drains a longun on 17 and is back to level. It's been a bit of a struggle for the world number two, but a 72 would be perfectly respectable. Watson, showing a lighter side, tickles in for birdie at 17, he's back to three under. Par for Cabrera, he stays two under.

  22. 2342: 

    Great clutch par putt from Couples on 18, he's in with a solid 72. Mickelson has been imbued with the spirit of Seve Ballesteros today, he's finding everywhere but the short stuff off the tee, and misses again on 17.

  23. 2339: 

    McIlroy has strung four pars together between 13 and 16 to steady his round, he's one over par. Mickelson pars the par-three 16th and stays +3. McIlroy leaves himself a wedge into the 17th and he's safely on the front. Here's Bubba - he stiffs it to within eight feet.

  24. 2335: 

    Many thanks to Al Watkins again, I had to speak to Lamont Peterson - he was asleep and not answering his phone. Garcia's rollercoaster continues - birdie-birdie-bogey between 14 and 16 but he should make par at 17 to stay one under.


    Leader Lee Westwood speaking after his round of 67, which left him fiveunder: "I played very solidly and didn't make many bad shots, but bogeyd on the four. It was a pretty pain-free round.

    "Every hole looked bigger than it has for a while today. I need to pick shots up on the par fives but I could have birdied every hole coming in.

    I have played in enough of these now to know what is going on and 67 has given me a great start."


    Westwood hit 16 out of 18 greens - great accuracy, Faldo-esque, and his putting game was pretty hot too. Bodes well. Cabrera bashes his ball miles down the 17th with a terrific crack, amplified by the TV microphones.

  27. 2328: 

    Peter Hanson of Sweden is the highest-placed player still out on the course - he's three under and on the 15th. Bubba Watson, Fred Couples, Sergio Garcia also under par and still playing. Phil Mickelson, meanwhile, birides the 15th to get back to three over.


    At the bottom end of the leaderboard, it's Scotland's Sandy Lyle propping up the field after his round of 86, leaving him 14-over-par. Randal Lewis and Craig Stadler are just above the Scotsman with their rounds of nine-over (81). England's Simon Dyson, Alvaro Quiros and Trevor Immelman have all had disappointing opening days, tied on six-over.

    Andrew Cotter, BBC Sport

    On Twitter: "Great opening round of 67 for Westwood. I fancy him now. For The Masters, I mean."

    Jay Townsend, 5 live golf summariser

    "That is just what Lee Westwood needed with the pressure that has been thrust upon him. He is off to a great start in the first major of the year and it his best chance to win a major"

  31. 2321: 
    Westwood finishes with 67

    Lee Westwood safely on to the green and then with a 20-footer for birdie, shaves the hole at the last for a par. Superb round - a five-under 67 - and a one-shot lead. Could this be the time for the Englishman to end his major drought?

  32. 2319: 

    Our man at the course has been experiencing the unique atmosphere of Amen Corner and has written about "the best place in golf" as one of the patrons calls it. Meanwhile, former champions Angel Cabrera and Vijay Singh both move to two under, Singh in the clubhouse after a triumphant birdie finish at the last, Cabrera now on the 16th.


    Tony E: "Very European leader board I let's hope it stays like this and I get home to watch some Golf on the telly before the rains arrive. Travelling on my way home from work from London."

  34. 2316: 

    Bubba Watson misses a putt for eagle on the 15th by a country mile and then misses his birdie chance to stay at two under. Westwood launches his tee shot on the 18th. McIlroy remains at one over after parring the 15th.

  35. 2312: 

    Garcia on 16, he's going with seven iron. The Spaniard, who birdied 15 to get to two under, cuts it in too far and looks to be plugged in a bunker. Cabrera on 15 and he very nearly holes his third, he should make birdie from there to get to two under.

  36. 2309: 

    It's getting very blustery out there now but it's not so wet that the caddies are reaching for their umbrellas. Westwood asks his ball to fade off the tee at 18 and it does his bidding, finishing in the first cut. Awesome power from Watson on 15, easily on in two courtesy of his rescue club.

  37. 2304: 
    BIRDIE- Westwood claims outright lead

    Dufner has a 15-footer to join the leaders on four under... leaves it left but he'll tap in for a round of 69. Mickelson all over the shop today, his radar completely shot... Westwood in for a birdie at 17, he snatches the outright lead at five under... the last two caddies to have won the Masters on Easter Sunday have worn the number 53 bib, so I'm told. Guess what number Westwood's swagman is wearing? Rain splashing in..


    Graeme McDowell after his three-over 75: "It wasn't very good. I just don't play well around this golf course. It doesn't set up well for me. I'm not driving it well enough. I'm short with not enough right to left shape. It was tough today. The course played long and the pins were tricky and I just hit it in all the wrong places all day. I paid the price. I got off to a bit of a sloppy start with a bogey on one and a double on four and I was battling from there."

  39. 2259: 

    Westwood is just unerring with his woods and irons and here he is giving himself another birdie chance on 17. Couples on the par-three 16th... too far left, his ball draining away down the hill. Couples looks skywards and wonders if he'll get the last two holes on his card before the rain sweeps in...

    Jay Townsend, 5 live golf summariser

    "In his own words, Tiger Woods played terrible. He will be off to the range to work out. He has made great strides in his ball striking but it wasn't there today. If this was anyone else, it would be devastating but with Tiger's mental strength, he will feel he can play through this. He will still be thinking about winning and how he can do this on Sunday."

  41. 2257: 

    Dufner's got a lovely waggle and he's an easy swinger of the club - into the heart at 18, chance to join the leaders on four under.


    Ian Poulter after his level-par 72: "The pins were tucked away and that made it difficult early on. A lot of pins on the first six holes were tough to get at. The rain has made them want to protect the course score-wise, the answer was to tuck the pins away but I played pretty solid and I'm happy with that round. It's an early start tomorrow so hopefully I can get the best of the weather and the storm will have blown through. I can go out there and play aggressive."

  43. 2255: 

    McIlroy in for par at 14 after leaving his birdie putt short, he stays one over, although his body language doesn't look right to me. Bubba stays level after 14, and here's our Open champion Darren Clarke - he's been pretty ragged since winning the Claret Jug but he's only one over through 15.

  44. 2252: 

    Vijay Singh birdies 15 to move to two under, the 2000 champion, out of the top 50, finding some form. Garcia is back in the red after birdie at 14 - not much chat about the Spaniard coming into this week, he might like it better that way. Freddie Couples very nearly pops in an eagle from 80 yards, the ball gripping, ducking sideways and ending up 12 feet below the hole.

    Iain Carter, BBC Sport

    "Luke Donald is fine and stays in the tournement. His round of 75 stays, a smudge on the 5th hole is what caused the discrepancy."

  46. 2247: 

    Westwood parachutes in at 16, yet another birdie opportunity for the big specimen. DONALD HAS BEEN CLEARED! DONALD IS FREE! A smudge on his card, apparently - not exactly hanging chads, but pretty dramatic as far as golf goes. The upshot is the world number one cards a 75, not a 73.

  47. 2244: 

    Donald-gate rumbles on, no decision as yet. The suspicion is he signed a three and a five were misread on the par-four fifth . Donald, by the way, is only responsible for his individual scores, which might explain why the leaderboard had him one over while the card was totted up as three over. Then again, it can't be that complicated to work out, it's hardly algorithmics, it's a piece of card with 18 numbers on it.

    Iain Carter, BBC Sport

    "Investigation into Luke Donald's scorecard is still ongoing. We're watching the weather, we're watching the golf, we're watching the leaderboards."

  49. 2240: 

    Thunder yonder - today's play might not be for much longer. Cabrera birdies 13 to get back level, Bubba muffs a three-footer for a bogey six and he drops to two under.

  50. 2236: 

    Ben Crane, one of the PGA Tour's Golf Boys, is in with a 69. Here's McIlroy on 13 - found Rae's Creek with his second and his fourth shot isn't much cop, he'll struggle to make par from there. Westwood makes a solid par at 16 to stay four under. McIlroy tugs his par putt left, drops to one over.


    BBC Sport's Stephen Watson on Twitter: "Just interviewed Graeme McDowell who summed up his opening round of +3 as 'rubbish'."


    LEADERBOARD (US unless stated)

    -4 Westwood (Eng), Ousthuizen (SA); -3 Lawrie, Jimenez (Sp), F Molinari (Ita), Dufner, Crane. Selected others: -2 Johnson, Na -1 Fisher (Eng), Harrington level Woods, Kaymer (Ger), Poulter (Eng), Garcia (Sp) Rose (Eng), McIlroy (NI) +1 Clarke (NI), Donald (Eng),+2 Fowler, +3 Olazabal (Sp), McDowell (NI), +4 Mickelson.

    Full leaderboard (official website);Tee times;Clubhouse scores

  53. 2231: 

    Peter Hanson on 13, three wood, persuades it right to left... Couples for birdie on 14, in from 10 feet, the 1992 champion is one under. Kevin Na made a monster at 17 and he jumps one over the old cellophane bridge at 18, he'll finish with a 70.


    Will Gallimore on Twitter: "Phil Mickelson starting to look a bit silly at +4 after saying this year could be a birdie fest..."

  55. 2231: 

    Bubba chopping out at 13, Dufner makes par at 16 to stay one off the lead. It's a mash-up at three-under, seven players jostling for position. The golf has just moved from 5 live to 5 live Extra, here's a blog from our man in Augusta Rob Hodgetts...

  56. 2228: 

    Dufner putting up the hill for birdie at 16, doesn't hit it... Jim Furyk birdied the second and has since carded 12 sraight pars in a typically Furykian round. Hunter Mahan, the world number four and a top tip to win this thing, bogeys 11 to dtop back to level. Peter Hanson has birdied 11 and 12 to get to three under - not so much Amen Corner for him as Easy Street.

  57. 2223: 

    Bubba with the pink monster again, but this time he flails his tee shot into the pine straw on 14. Westwood on 15 and he clatters it straight down the middle, the boy from Worksop just can't miss off the tee at the moment. Poulter misses from 10 feet on 18 - shot gone and he drops back to level.


    Paul Lewis on Twitter: "Westwood is playing great golf. Come on Lee, do it for England this year!!"

  59. 2219: 

    Couples very nearly eagles 13 but he makes his birdie to move to level par. Mickelson with a nine iron at 12 and he's missed three green, Leftie's in partial meltdown. Westwood misses by a whisker with his birdie attempt at 15, stays tied for the lead.

    Jay Townsend, 5 live golf summariser

    "Luke believes he shot a 75 and signed for a 75 but it looks like someone has misinterpreted one of the numbers, probably the fifth hole. The golfer is not responsible for any of the totals, just the individual score totals."

  61. 2215: 

    Ben Crane looks like he's turned to stone before he unleashes another birdie putt on 17 to climb to one off the lead on three under. Sweden's Peter Hanson makes his curler on 12 to move to two under before Bubba also makes his birdie putt to get to three under par.

    Andrew Cotter, BBC Sport

    On Twitter: "Donald not being disqualified apparently. All is well. 73 stands. Which is fewer than we initially thought. It's all too confusing."

  63. 2213: 

    Lee Westwood with a peach into the 14th, another birdie chance. Zach Johnson gives himself a stern talking-to after tugging his approach left at 18, as Dufner misses just right with his left-to-righter at 15...

  64. 2207: 

    Many thanks Alistair, Ben Dirs back... Garcia rolls in his clutch par putt at 12 to stay one over... former champion Zach Johnson bogeys 16 but birdies 17 to get back to two under. Here's Rory on 12... nine iron, stiffs it into the heart. Playing partner Watson skims one straight at the pin...

    Rob Hodgetts, BBC Sport at Augusta

    On Twitter: "Big kerfuffle - has Donald signed for wrong score? Still unclear. Masters bigwigs discussing it. More soon."

  66. 2202: 
    BIRDIE- Westwood regains share of lead

    Westwood rolls in a birdie from close range to get back to four under. Encouraging to see him sink those. Five holes to go for the world number three.

    Iain Carter, BBC Sport

    "All the official scoring is showing Luke Donald as 73 but there is a chance that it is 75. There is probably a discrepancy on the scoring of the fifth. There is a suggestion he has signed a wrong scorecard and potential for him to be disqualified."

    Alistair Bruce-Ball, BBC Sport

    "Reports suggest that there only have around 30 more minutes of play left and they may be taken off for the weather."

  69. 2158: 
    BIRDIE- Oosthuizen takes outright lead

    I'm hearing the weather is set to sweep in in 30 minutes and could be so severe as to wash out the rest of the day's play... I've got to take a quick break for 20 minutes or so, Alistair Watkins is the man to relieve me... bogey for Dufner on 14, the American back to two under. Oosthuizen for the outright lead - makes that birdie putt, finishes birdie-birdie, he's got the outright lead.

  70. 2155: 

    Mickelson's fifth is pretty handy, but it still leaves him with an eight-footer for double. I'm hearing some rather disturbing news that Luke Donald may have signed for a wrong score - no hard facts yet, I'll keep you posted. Old Leftie makes a triple on 10, back to four over and that could be his challenge busted.

  71. 2150: 

    Dufner is back to three under after birdie at the par-five 13th, but he's got problems down the 14th. Here's Mr Nice 'n' Easy, Freddie Couples, at the par-three 12th and that's all over the flag like a tramp on chips. Mickelson having a card-wrecker on 10, he's clobbered what I believe is his fourth shot into a green-side bunker.

  72. 2146: 

    Oosthuizen joins the leaders with birdie at 17, as Mickelson continues his search.. he's got more chance of finding the lost world of Atlantis than he has of finding his ball in the next five minutes...

  73. 2144: 

    Ben Crane of the United States has got a slippery long-ranger for birdie on 15... takes an age over the putt before squeezing it a few feet to the right. Watson three-putts the 10th and drops back to two under. Mickelson's come over all David Bellamy, here he is wading through the jungle with a troop of patrons in tow... looks like a lost ball to me, which would be a two-shot penalty...


    Padraig Harrington after his one-under 71: "I'm pleased. I think I'm more pleased with the score. There's very few players burning it up, let's say. Conditions are very good out there for scoring in terms of there's no wind, greens are soft. But I think they were aware of that and put in some tough pins today. While you can go at every pin out there, if you're slightly out, you've got your work cut out to make a par."


    England's Justin Rose after his level-par 72: "I got off to a decent start, had a lot of 10 footers early in my round, missed them all, missed them all high. I was kind of giving the greens a little bit too much respect. Even par - there's no damage done. I can build on it from there."


    US PGA champion Keagan Bradley, who finished with one-under 71: "Not the start I was looking for but everything lived up to the hype and there was a great atmosphere.

    "Phil Mickelson has helped me so much and I was thinking of him on a few of the shots after the advice and help from a champion."

  77. 2140: 

    Watson with his second at 10... looks good to you and me, but Bubba knows something different, that's a glassy one downhill. Cabrera has let a shot go at nine, he's out in level-par 36. News of Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell, US Open champion in 2010, has got it back to two over after 16. Mickelson is forced to play a provisional after spraying his tee shot at 10, his game doesn't look to be all there.

  78. 2135: 

    Birdie at 15 for England Ian Poulter, he's now one under. McIlroy in a spot of bother on 10, he's now sent his second shot out of the pine straw right into more pine straw left. Westwood up the hill at 12 - stays right, in for par.

  79. 2135: 

    Tiger Woods after his level-par 72: "I hit some of the worst golf swings I've ever hit today, and that's all right. I just hung in there and grinded my way around the golf course and stayed very patient, stayed in the moment. Unfortunately that was about as good as I got right there. I could have shot one, maybe two better, but I got a lot out of that round."


    Andrea Miles on Twitter: "Bubba owns the General Lee, as in the car from the 'Dukes of Hazard' - impressive!"

  81. 2132: 

    Zach Johnson can only manage a par at the par-five 15th and stays two under. Westwood of England stops one dead off the tee at 12. Bernhard Langer was putting together one of the most Langer rounds in the history of Bernhard Langer - 10 straight pars before he dropped a shot at 11.

  82. 2128: 

    McIlroy at the 495-yard 10th, where he made a triple-bogey seven in his final round last year, and he's just off the fairway. Jerry Watson, otherwise known as Bubba, unsheathes his pink stick and clobbers a drive down the middle at 10.

  83. 2124: 

    Paul Casey with a very respectable eagle attempt at 13, he pops in for birdie to move to two over. Westwood makes par at 11 to stay in a tie for the lead. Sergio Garcia in reverse gear, another bogey at nine and he's out in 37.

  84. 2120: 

    Hanson makes his birdie putt disappear at eight, the Swede in the red. McIlroy got a peach away off the tee at nine and the second is even better, chance for a birdie. Dark clouds piling up overhead, we've got some spots on the way. Mickelson has sprayed his tee shot left at nine... nice try by Westwood, a big curler from just off the green at 11, he should make par. McIlroy bends in his birdie putt at nine, he's out in 35 after that horror start.

  85. 2118: 

    Sweden's Peter Hanson, currently level, has a 20-footer for eagle at eight and he slides it four feet by. Mahan leaves his birdie attempt left and stays one under. Here's Lee Boy with his approach at the 11th, his ball just scuttling on to the fringe. Mickelson back to even...

  86. 2114: 

    Bubba Watson is a Christian. Husband. Daddy. Pro Golfer. Owner of General Lee 1, or at least according to his Twitter account. Mickelson from off the green at eight and that's pretty good, he should make birdie.

    Jay Townsend, 5 live golf summariser

    "The weather is coming this way, fairly quickly and we might have some scattered showers and could have some stoppages in play."

  88. 2110: 

    Freddie Couples, champion in '92, is out in 35 after a birdie at nine. Hunter Mahan has let another shot go at seven, he's back to -1. Bubba feathers in his birdie putt at eight to join the leaders on three under, Franscesco Molinari is in with a 69, he joins Jimenez and Lawrie as clubhouse leaders. World number one Luke Donald, out in 38, makes par at the last for a round of 75.

  89. 2106: 

    Bubba Watson has a monster for eagle at eight - for the outright lead - but he leaves himself plenty of work. Jason Dufner, playing his second Masters, bogeys 11 to drop back to -2 while McIlroy is back to level after birdie at eight.

  90. 2101: 

    Many thanks Aimee, Ben Dirs back on tee. Westwood for par at 10... feathers it just past the hole, he slips back to -3 and into a five-way share of the lead. KJ Choi gets into the red with birdie at eight, former champion Cabrera does exactly the same.

  91. 2100: 

    Woods, eyes staring ahead with the usual intensity as he gauges his putt on the 18th, and cheers from the partisan crowd as he sinks it to finish even. Jimenez too brings his round to a close with a par on the 18th, finishing for a wonderful three under. And as Woods and Jimenez leave then so do I as Ben Dirs is chomping at the bit to take you through the close of day one. Until tomorrow.


    Steve Vine: "(Re 2048): So Woods finds a picnic hamper? He will need a sand wich to chip it out of there."


    Calum MacColl on Twitter: "Stenson is going to 8 looking at the highlights of his dreaded 18th."

    Craig Wilson on Twitter: "Henrik Stenson's travails at the 18th reminds everyone that at times the pros hack it around like the rest of us."

    Mike Pocock on Twitter: "Feel horrible for Stenson, we have all been there with an 8 (or worse) to finish."

  94. 2054: 

    And there's been an eagle on the 13th! The man causing the patrons to go barmy is Zach Johnson, who leaps to two under. I say they go barmy, a whimper of a cheer is all I hear from those in Augusta. Surely an eagle deserves deafening whoops? Just a teaser to let you know BBC Radio Five live's coverage, with Chris Evans hosting, will start in about five minutes so get tuning the wireless.


    LEADERBOARD (US unless stated)

    -4 Westwood (Eng), -3 Lawrie, Jimenez (Sp), F Molinari (Ita), Dufner, -2 Bradley. Selected others: -1 Fisher (Eng), Woods level Kaymer (Ger), Poulter (Eng), Garcia (Sp) Rose (Eng) +1 Mickelson, McIlroy (NI) +2 E. Molinari (Ita), McDowell (NI), Clarke (NI), +3 Olazabal (Sp), Donald (Eng) +5 Dyson (Eng), Woosnam (Wal)

    Full leaderboard (official website);Tee times;Clubhouse scores


    Henrik Stenson, after finishing with a round of 71: "I was struggling the whole back nine really, hitting over trees and all sorts. The real problem is that we misjudged the wind on the last and to walk away with an eight on the 18th hole is really disappointing.

    "I made two great eagles on the front nine which is a good achievement at Augusta, but I wish I could have got away with something less than a snowman on the last.

    "I made some great putts and recoveries but if I can't hit a fairway on the back nine, it's not really where I want to be, is it?"

  97. 2048: 

    A fine-looking card on the front nine for Westwood with a bogey on the fourth the only blemish. A birdie on the 17th gives world number one Luke Donald something to smile about as he is now three over for the day with one to play. Woods's second shot from the pine needles manages to find someone's picnic hamper and the former world number one looks to be in trouble.

  98. 2041: 

    The in-form Hunter Mahan was closing in on Westwood's tail, with a birdie on the fifth taking the American to three under, but he ruins his good work with a bogey on the sixth so it's back to two under for the Shell Houston Open winner. Schwartzel birdies the 17th to go under for the day, while Bubba Watson is now two under after a fine birdie on the sixth.


    Owen in Poole: "Looks like its getting cold at Augusta, Stenson has just seen a snowman on the 18th."

  100. 2032: 

    A quadruple bogey for Stenson on the final hole. What a disastrous way to end what had been a fabulous round of golf. Will the Swede sleep easily after that nightmare on the 18th? It all means Westwood, four under after eight, now leads the Masters. And a controlled drive on the ninth gives Westwood another birdie opportunity. Impressive stuff from Westwood. Woods, meanwhile, is back on one under after dropping a shot on the 17th.


    David in Norwich: "Westwood usually plays himself out of it on Day 1, then roars back to come close. Here's hoping he keeps this up and plays his usual the next 3!!"

  102. 2025: 

    And would you believe it, Garcia double bogeys the sixth and is now even for the day. Oh, Sergio. G-Mac also having difficulty after finding the 12th to be a formidable foe so he goes two over. But Italy's Francesco Molinari is all smiles after birdies on the 15th and 16th to leap to three under.


    Angus McGougan on Twitter: "Typical Easter travel chaos. Stuck on packed train to Dorset, 2hrs late, no drinks service, only #bbcmasters to keep me going. Come on Lee!"

  104. 2022: 

    Westwood, on the eighth, and his approach shot is tantalisingly close to dropping into the cup but it's a simple birdie chance for the Englishman nevertheless, which would make it four birdies in a row for the world number three. Four in a row! Four! And he pops it in. A beautiful start for Westwood who is now four under and, with Stenson struggling on the 18th, could take the lead.

  105. 2019: 

    Stenson, leading by two, hooks his tee shot on the 18th and his ball is nestled somewhere in the trees. Nerves get the better of Cantlay as he misses a short putt and bogeys the 11th to return to even. And on the 13th green is Ian Woosnam who is inches short with a long birdie attempt.

  106. 2013: 

    G-Mac's tee on the 12th drops into the bunker, which is left of the pin. His second shot finds the edge of the green and a 20-yard putt leaves him with a four-footer for bogey. Amateur Patrick Cantlay, on one under, is the next to attempt a birdie on the 11th, but his right to left putt is a smidgeon short.

    Iain Carter, BBC Sport

    On Twitter: Westwood with three birdies in a row, seven holes in he shares second place -3 two behind Stenson

  108. 2000: 

    A lot of white trousers on display today, which is quite brave considering thunderstorms were forecast. Nevertheless, I digress, Louis Oosthuizen, sporting white pants, sees his approach shot run 15 yards beyond the flag, so still no birdie on the 11th, dubbed the "toughest hole on the course". G-Mac, on the 11th, putting for a birdie... hits it right to left and it is a pimple short of going in and the 2010 US Open champ has to make do with a par. And Westwood has moved to three under to join Dufner and Lawrie!

  109. 1949: 

    Can Sergio keep it going? Can he? Can he? Do we ask this question every year? G-Mac, wearing a snazzy pair of pantaloons, is on the 11th and his second shot takes him onto the green, while a hole ahead is Ian Woosnam, whose tee finds the dancefloor.


    Jonathan Blackmore on Twitter: "Donald's Masters is over before it starts!"


    Andy Brown on Twitter: "My darkhorse for the Masters is off to a flyer! Can Sergio keep it going though?"

  112. 1947: 

    The leaderboard shows us that world number three Lee Westwood is now two under after six holes and is joined on two under by Jimenez and Mahan. It's building up nicely, folks. Amateur Mills falters with a long birdie attempt but leaves himself with a simple putt for par.

  113. 1942: 

    Things going from bad to worse for Donald who bogeys the 13th to go four over. Corbin Mills's beautiful tee shot on the 12th stops dead on the green, warm applause for the young American from the patrons. Meanwhile, Dufner is making a move up the leaderboard and is now three under after a delightful birdie on the seventh.

  114. 1935: 

    Harrington pars the final three holes and is back in the clubhouse on one under, alongside playing companions Cink and Stricker. A nice day's work for the trio and you can watch Harrington's eagle on the second thanks to the Masters website. McIlroy calmed his nerves to birdie the second and a par on the third moves him to one over.


    LEADERBOARD (US unless stated)

    -5 Stenson (Swe), -3 Lawrie (Sco), -2 Woods, Bradley, Dufner -1 Fisher, Baddeley (Aus) Selected others: level Kaymer (Ger), Westwood, Rose (Eng) +1 McDowell (NI), Fowler, E. Molinari (Ita), McIlroy (NI) +2 Woosnam (Wal), Dyson (Eng) +3 Olazabal (Sp), Donald (Eng)

    Full leaderboard (official website);Tee times;Clubhouse scores

  116. 1926: 

    A classy shot from Jimenez takes him onto the green and he saves par! Woods digs it out from the bunker, but he's given it a bit too much oomph and it runs away from the pin. The four-time champ has to settle for a par on the 13th - could easily have been a birdie - to leave Amen corner tied for third. And would you believe it - Sergio Garcia is two under after three holes.

  117. 1920: 

    While Jimenez is pondering what his best move might be why don't you tweet us your thoughts using the hashtag #bbcmasters or tweet me @aimee_lou_lewis if you so wish. Alternatively, you could always text 81111, but make sure you PUT YOUR NAMES ON THOSE TEXTS! All forms of interaction most welcome.

  118. 1914: 
    SPLASH!- Jimenez in the water

    No sign of the promised thunderstorms yet as Augusta looks as serene and enticing as ever, only a few swirling clouds peppering the blue skies. The hirsute Jimenez is on the 13th, swinging energetically as part of his idiosyncratic warm-up routine. His iron shot plops into the creek, though. The Spaniard waves his arms in disgust. But smiles from relaxed Woods, although he too is soon muttering to himself as his approach shot bounces off the green and into the bunker.

  119. 1906: 

    Woods on the sun-kissed 12th with a bitty putt to save par and the ball wobbles in and the world number seven remains at two under, while Schwartzel punches a 20-yarder on the green to engineer an easy-looking putt for a birdie chance at the 13th.

    Rob Hodgetts, BBC Sport at Augusta

    More from Craig Stadler on Twitter: "It's special to come back, not enjoyable to embarrass yourself & I came close. Pitiful. I made 6 or 8 putts coming in. I could've shot 90."

  121. 1903: 

    Hello again! McIlroy has just double bogeyed the par-four first. Maybe I should go back from whence I came...

  122. 1901:  
    Michael Vaughan, BBC TV reporter

    Paul Lawrie talking to BBC Sport's Michael Vaughan: "I struggled with the speed on the front nine - I've had some time off and this is a hard course to play. The course is wet, wetter than they'd like it, but the greens still have good pace to them. It won't take long for them to be playing fast."

  123. 1900: 

    Not sure if I mentioned this, but England's Ross Fisher bogeyed 18 to finish with a one-under 71. I'm going to hand you back to Aimee Lewis for a couple of hours before returning to take you through to the close. God speed...

  124. 1858: 

    Harrington is still chugging along, he's one under with one to play. I do believe Luke Donald has found Rae's Creek with his approach at 11, things not looking good for the world number one. Stricker birdies 17 to get to one under, the world number five a real threat this week, although not to the bookies - I got him at 55-1.

  125. 1855: 

    Tom Maher: "Should realise that how a player performs on Tiger Woods PGA Tour does not mean I should back them. Scott +3 already."

  126. 1853: 

    Here's Woods on the 11th green, for a birdie from 20 feet. It's a slippery one and he just cosies it up four feet short before popping in for par. The leaderboard music on the Masters coverage is much like you'd hear at a crematorium, while waiting for a loved one to go sliding into the flames. Spain's Alvaro Quiros demonstrating that it's not all about smashing it round Augusta - he finds Rae's Creek on 12 and is four over. However, that must be shot of the day, if not the week, splashing out to within six feet.

  127. 1849: 

    Another amateur, Patrick Cantlay, is two under after six. Cantlay, 20, was the top-ranked amateur in the world last season. Bradley makes his eight-footer at 12 to climb to one under as I'm hearing McIlroy is in the trees off the tee at the first.

    Iain Carter, BBC Sport

    On Twitter: "Lawrie must make room for at least 2 Augusta crystal goblets that he will receive for making eagles at 13 and 15 in his 69 today."

  129. 1844: 

    Donald back to two over after bogey at nine, Open champion Darren Clarke and 1992 champion Fred Couples par the first. Kelly Kraft, part of the US Walker Cup team last year, stiffs it to within five feet at 12. Tiger into 11 and he's slap, bang in the middle.

  130. 1842: 

    Birdie at two from Westwood, the Englishman moves to one under par. Jason Dufner, in the mix at the PGA last year, is two under after birdies at one and three, Keegan Bradley, with a 100% winning record in majors, is all over the pin at 12. Here's everyone's main man Miguel Angel Jimenez, a man who makes a round at Augusta look about as stressful as walking to the corner shop for some bread and milk. The Spaniard is one under through 10.

  131. 1838: 

    Schwartzel playing with PGA champion Keegan Bradley and young amateur Kelly Kraft. Schwartzel and Bradley stay level, Kraft four over. Stenson pulls out the big dog and promptly yanks his tee shot on 13 left into the pine straw. Woods birdies fom six feet at 10 to get to two under - the Tiger licking his chops as his approaches Amen Corner...

  132. 1832: 

    Schwartzel with his second at 11, the defending champion let a shot slip at 10. The South African comes up just short and will have a little chip on... Stenson glides his birdie attempt by at 12, stays six under.

  133. 1827: 

    Henrik all over the flag with his tee shot at the par-three 12th, another very makeable birdie chance for the Swede. Watson, playing in his 364th Masters, with a chance for eagle at 13... too much break, pops it in for birdie.


    LEADERBOARD (US unless stated)

    -6 Stenson (Swe), -3 Lawrie (Sco), -2 Verplank, Dufner, -1 Fisher (Eng) Woods, Selected others: level Kaymer (Ger), Westwood (Eng), Fowler, +1 McDowell (NI), Rose (Eng), E. Molinari (Ita), Donald (Eng) +2 Woosnam (Wal), Dyson (Eng) +3 Olazabal (Sp)

    Full leaderboard (official website);Tee times;Clubhouse scores

  135. 1826: 

    Westwood, world number three, pars the first. Two-time champion Jose-Maria Olazabal is in with a first-round 75, four bogeys and one birdie on his card. Martin Kaymer, who doesn't like this course, he doesn't like it at all, is back to level after bogey at 16. Two-time champion Tom Watson has bogeyed three in a row and is five over after 12.

  136. 1820: 

    Rose pops his recovery to within a couple of feet at 13, but that will still be one shot gone. The American commentary team seemed to be labouring under the misconception that the man currently in second is a famous painter from Salford, rather than a former Open champion from Aberdeen. Ogilvy of Australia muffs his chip at 12, he could be about to go four over. Ross Fisher of England in with a creditable 71...


    Hasil Vekaria on Twitter: "Come on Rory! Hoping for a Rory and Woods final day and final group pairing! #dream."


    Tom McMinigal on Twitter: "Can somebody tell Henrik Stenson that he's playing in a major? He's making Augusta look like a pitch'n'putt!"

  139. 1816: 

    Donald stops the rot with birdie at eight, the world number one back to one over. Rose makes a dog's dinner of the 13th - trouble off the tee and he finds Rae's Creek with his third. Peach from the big-bombing Gary Woodland, he could be the first to make birdie on 11. Talking of bombers, here's Spaniard Quiros on 11, he's four over... it could be about to get worse...

  140. 1810: 

    Scott Verplank of the US moves to -2 after a birdie at seven and here's Matsuyama putting from miles out at 12... fine effort, he'll pop that in to stay one under. Matsuyama, still only 20, finished tied for 27th last year. POULTER SLACKS ALERT: PINK BURBERRY PLAID.

  141. 1807: 
    BIRDIE- Stenson extends lead to three shots

    Henrik Stenson, who you could have got at 290-1 before kick-off, has birdied the 10th to get to six under, he's tearing Augusta a new hole at the moment. The course record, by the way, is eight-under 63, held jointly by Nick Price (1986) and Greg Norman (1996).

  142. 1804: 

    Defending champion Schwartzel birdies nine and is out in 35. Matt Kuchar on 11 and he's safely on the dance floor, left with a snaky one downhill. Woods having an armwrestle with Augusta, back to one under after birdie on the par-five eighth. Got to pick up shots on the par-fives to have a chance at Augusta.

  143. 1800: 

    Rose finds sand off the tee at 12 but that's a cute escape to within a few feet. Baddeley leaves his eagle attempt at 13 just low and stays level. Scotland's Paul Lawrie is in with a 69, and that's the first time he's broken 70 at the Masters.

    South Africa's Trevor Immelman, 2008 champion, is six over through 12. Fowler bounces back from bogey at 11 with a birdie at 12 courtesy of a bender-in-a-bun of a birdie from 10 feet.

  144. 1756: 

    Paul Casey has bogeyed the first, as has fellow Englishman Poulter. World number one Donald has bogeyed five and six to drop back to two over, England's finest incontinent with bogeys at the moment. Dear old Sandy, meanwhile, is five over through five...


    Paul Green on Twitter: "Loving watching Amen Corner already shattering some players hopes on day 1! Wouldn't want to play it at all though."

  146. 1754: 

    Here's our first sighting of England's Justin Rose, one of the men in form - won at Doral a fortnight ago. Safely on in two at 11, but he's one over. Kaymer gets back to one under with birdie at 14, Matsuyama of Japan joins him courtesy of birdie at 10.

    Van Pelt has birdied 13 and 14, the world number 28 is a decent outside bet this week. A huge fan of Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Van Pelt's favourite book is The Brothers Karamazov. Woods bogeys seven, drops back to even.

    Rob Hodgetts, BBC Sport at Augusta

    On Twitter: "I wouldn't say it was tough, I'd say it wasn't much fun. Was bordering on embarrassing for a while" - '82 champ Craig Stadler, who shot 81.

  148. 1744: 

    Paul Lawrie moves to four under, one off leader Stenson, after birdie at 17. Two birdies and one eagle for the Scotsman so far - a colleague of mine stuck a load of money on him to win this thing and we laughed and laughed and laughed... Harrington with a putt for birdie at 13... leaves it just high, just like everyone else has done... Fowler on 11 and it's a case of don't even bother looking for that one, it's gone straight into the confectionery stall... and out again...

  149. 1741: 

    Molinari of Italy is in the early mix, on one under after six. Nick Watney has birdied six to get into the red - the world number 20 (favourite drink: chocolate milk; favourite music: rap) has the game to do some damage round Augusta.


    LEADERBOARD (US unless stated)

    -5 Stenson (Swe), -3 Lawrie (Sco), -1 Fisher (Eng) Woods, F. Molinari (Ita), Fernandez-Castano (Sp) Selected others: level Kaymer (Ger), Harrington, Cink, Woosnam (Wal), Rose (Eng), +1 McDowell (NI) +2 Donald (Eng) +3 Olazabal (Sp) +4 Immelman

    Full leaderboard (official website);tee times

  151. 1736: 

    England Ross Fisher birdies 14 and 15 to get to two under, three off the lead. Here's Aussie Jason Day, another contender last year, cosieing it up to the hole at 11, he'll stay two over. Bill Haas with a good chance of birdie but the American's ball is scared of the dark and refuses to drop.

  152. 1731: 
    EAGLE- Stenson takes outright lead

    Presumably the fact that TV coverage of the entire course doesn't start until 1900 BST, six hours after Craig Stadler hit the first tee shot, means the old leather wedge is much in use around Augusta National in the early stages. Henrik Stenson five under! The Swede has eagled the eighth - and I'm pretty sure he didn't cheat, he doesn't seem like that type of character.

  153. 1728: 

    Harrington for birdie at 12, only two men have birdied this par three so far... hands of stone, the ball rifled eight feet by. Adam Scott, a contender last year, pokes his birdie attempt by the hole at 13, not a great start by the Australian, he stays three over. Tiger remains -1 through six...

  154. 1725: 

    Kaymer did indeed find Rae's Creek at 13, and his fourth isn't great either. Stricker, the world number five, putting across the 12th and he just shaves the cup left. He'll make that disappear for a par to stay one over. Craig Stadler, winner in 1982, is the clubhouse leader with an 81...

  155. 1718: 

    Sandy Lyle, champion in 1988, is three over after two, he started bogey, double-bogey. Cink, having gone through a thousand-and-one options on the tee, dunks his tee shot at 12. Stricker on 12, he's one over... bang in the guts of the green... Kaymer with his second on 13, that looks like drink...

  156. 1715: 
    EAGLE- Lawrie joins Stenson as leader

    Scotland's Paul Lawrie eagles 15 - no pictures, unable to describe it - and the 1999 Open champion joins Stenson atop the leaderboard on three under. Harrington bogeys 11 to slip back to level. A lick of wind at Augusta, it's summit time for Cink and his caddie on the 12th tee...

  157. 1712: 

    Bill Haas of the United States birdies eight and nine to get in the red, Harrington is a little heavy with a chip at 11. The Irishman has missed the last two cuts at Augusta. World number one Luke Donald is level through three, fellow Englishman Simon Dyson birdies two to get to one under. Stewart Cink dinks a short one high at 11, stays two under...

  158. 1706: 

    Kaymer back to one under after bogey at 12. Bo van Pelt for birdie at 12, from a few feet out... swallowed, he's back to level. Georgia boy Stewart Cink, the 2009 Open champion, sticks his approach to within four feet at 11, he's got that to join the lead on three under. Woods pars the fifth to stay -1.


    From Owen: Henrik Stenson. He's leading the Masters on his 36th birthday. On mine, I'm watching Raa-Raa the Noisy Lion with a 1 year old. Not jealous, honest.

  160. 1703: 

    Many thanks Aimee, Ben Dirs now at the controls. As Samuel Johnson would have said, had he not been dead for 200-odd years: "When a man is tired of the Masters, he is tired of sport." What he actually said about golf was: "Golf is a game in which you claim the privileges of age, and retain the playthings of childhood." No idea...

  161. 1701: 

    Just as Adam Scott, pristine white trousers and matching cap, evades a bunker off the tee on the 12th it's time for me to hand you over to Ben Dirs, who is flexing his fingers as I type. Blimey, he's now doing the splits as part of his warm-up routine. The lengths he goes to to make sure he's on top form for live text commentary.


    Max in London: "I have backed Stenson in every major he's played in since 2004. I wasn't going to back him today but my colleague persuaded me @ 290-1."


    LEADERBOARD (US unless stated)

    -3Stenson (Swe), -2 Kaymer (Ger), -1 Lawrie (Sco) -1 Harrington, Cink, Woods Selected others: level Donald (Eng), Rose (Eng), +1 Fisher (Eng) Fowler +2 Hansen (Den) +3 Karlsson (Swe) +4 JM Olazabal (Sp), Immelman

    Full leaderboard (official website);tee times

  164. 1651: 

    One player out there who hasn't been mentioned yet is Randal Lewis (no relation). The 54-year-old American is the oldest competitor on the course and was invited to play in Augusta courtesy of his victory in the United States mid-Amateur Championship in September. Lewis apparently gets mistaken for diminutive Welshman, and former Masters winner, Ian Woosnam when playing. Lewis isn't playing like Woosie in his prime at the moment, though, as he's eight over after 14 holes. The Lewises never do have much luck in Augusta...

  165. 1638: 
    BIRDIE- Stenson takes outright lead

    Here we go? Woods birdies the third and Stenson stands alone at the top of the leaderboard after becoming the first player to go three under thanks to a delightful birdie on the par-four five. It's Stenson's birthday today, too, so a lovely start to the day for the 36-year-old. Happy birthday, Henrik, if you're surreptitiously reading on your mobile.


    Jonny Fort on Twitter: "Hope TW (Tiger Woods) has a nightmare 1st round, giving the Brits a chance. Would be great to see a storming 65 from TW on final day though."

  167. 1630: 

    Some news for you on former champion Mark O'Meara who has withdrawn from the tournament with an unspecified injury. The 1998 winner follows compatriot Dustin Johnson who pulled out on Tuesday because of a back injury. Neither player, so I'm told, will be replaced so don't go polishing your shoes and dusting your clubs.

  168. 1629: 

    Woods not making the best of starts but somehow he is still level for the day. Once again he hooked his tee shot, then took a drop shot before hitting a long iron close to the green. A beautiful chip took him close to the pin and he putted for par. Easy when you know how, I suppose.


    LEADERBOARD (US unless stated)

    Full leaderboard (official website);tee times


    Jeff in Edinburgh: "Wet and possibly windy this week will suit big hitters, watch out for Dustin Johnson and Bubba, there's more than Rory & Woods!!"

    Andrew Cotter, BBC SportOUT OF BOUNDS

    On Tiger Twitter-watch: "Tiger is somewhere I have never seen anybody on the 2nd. Penalty drop after ball went into creek way left in the trees."

  172. 1614: 

    Only four players are under par at the moment. Former world number one Martin Kaymer has birdied the seventh and eighth holes to go two under and he tops the leaderboard along with Henrik Stenson, who eagled the second for a marvellous-looking card as he prepares for the fourth. Stewart Cink is still one under par, while defending champ Charl Schwartzel has also moved to one under after a lovely little birdie on the second.

    Andrew Cotter, BBC Sport

    On Twitter: "Even MORE MASSIVE snap-hook from Tiger on the 2nd. Wayyyyy into the trees."

  174. 1559: 

    Unsurprisingly Tiger teed off to a packed gallery, doffing his white cap in appreciation of the warm support. And the favourite managed to par the opening hole despite finding the pine trees left of the fairway from the tee. A wonderful five-wood from the pine needles saw him just short of the green then Woods, chasing a fifth Masters, chipped to five feet of the pin before dinking in the putt. An eventful first hole for the American.

  175. 1553: 

    Paul Lawrie has followed seven opening pars with a bogey at the long eighth, while Ross Fisher had bogey fours on the fourth and sixth holes. Not a good start for the Englishman. His compatriot Justin Rose, though, tipped by many to do well after winning the season's second world championship last month, has opened with two steady pars. But how will Tiger, looking dapper in a grey shirt, dark grey trousers and white shoes, negotiate his way out of the trees?


    Anon via text: "Why would Poulter need any advice. He's proved time after time that he has the mental side of the game nailed. Augusta is about short game."


    Paul in Doncaster: "Poulter is right not to take advice, he is his own man - you need a clear head to master the Masters."

    Andrew Cotter, BBC Sport

    On Twitter:"MASSIVE hook from Woods on first, ball heading off to ninth fairway."

  179. 1541: 

    SO, six players tied for the lead on one under and they are Stewart Cink and Padraig Harrington, who are toe-to-toe after four holes, Australia's Aaron Baddeley, who has just completed three holes, and Rickie Fowler and Japan's Hideki Matsuyama, who have just teed off on the third.

    Iain Carter, BBC Sport

    On Twitter: "Jay Townsend's been out on the course - reports that it is very wet, greens soft and receptive and not too fast. Still very few birdies tho. "Kinda amazin," says Jay at the lack of birdies so far. BTW he is a recovering Twitterholic and that's why he no longer tweets."

    Andrew Cotter, BBC Sport

    On Twitter: "Tiger Woods heads off practise ground with spank on the backside from Sean Foley. Innovative coaching."

  182. 1524: 

    Poulter, who lost 10lb in five days after being diagnosed with pneumonia last month, has of course been avoiding help ahead of the tournament, insisting he will trust his instincts rather than seek a mentor. "It is hard to take advice from someone with a very different game and a very different mindset to you," said Poulter earlier this week. Sir Nick Faldo, though, has been bemoaning the fact that none of his countrymen have asked him for his advice. What tournament tips would you give Poulter, sartorial or otherwise, and is the Brit right not to heed anyone's advice? You can tweet using the hashtag #bbcmasters or text via 81111.


    Ian Poulter on Twitter: "On the way to Augusta National, weather looks pure, 1st round of the Masters sounds pretty good. Enjoy the coverage guys. Speak later."


    Andrew in Canterbury: "Luke Donald 'will undoubtedly be a contender' (1324). Thanks, there goes 10 quid. Nailed on to miss the cut now."


    Dr Dave in Bucks: "The excitement level looking forward to the Masters is only matched today by the impatience to get home from the lab and set up camp in front of the flat screen for the bank holiday weekend. Apologies right now to the wife, kids and dogs, see you all on Monday!"

  186. 1505: 

    Harrington is now two under and leads by one from playing partner Stewart Cink and two-time champion Ben Crenshaw, who birdied the short fourth. Dubliner Harrington, now 96th in the world, breathed a sigh or relief after saving par on the first before producing a colossal drive on the second, with his follow up shot then trickling eight feet past the pin. Nice work, Mr Harrington.


    Don Breslin on Twitter: "Looking like this week's Masters could be one of the most dramatic ever. Unpredictable weather and so many contenders."


    Martin on Twitter: "First eagle of the day to Harrington. Didn't I tell you the weather would suit?!"

  189. 1455: 

    So the first eagle of the day goes to three-time major winner Padraig Harrington. There we were thinking he'd ruined his chances of taking the green jacket back to Dublin after winning the storm-interrupted par three title, but the 40-year-old has made a terrific start. Harrington became the first player to win a hat-trick of par three titles at the Masters when he shared the title on Wednesday, but can he become the first break the hoodoo and win the par three and the green jacket?

    Iain Carter, BBC Sport

    On Twitter: "Harrington eagle at second catapults the Irishman to top of leaderboard. Haven't a clue how he did it. No pics for ages."


    Gareth in Belfast: "There should be a bet to see how long it takes for someone to go under par! My tip for the Masters is Cabrera or Mahan. With a cheeky fiver on Rory!!"


    Calum in Aberdeen: "Would be great for the game to see a strong performance for Sergio. His personality and immense talent deserves more."


    Henry Fryzer on Twitter: "Got to have my money on Bubba this week, how he can shape the ball is genius, think he's due a major"

  194. 1438: 

    There's little or no roll on the damp fairways out there so beating par is proving to be a tad tricky for the world's finest. Australia's Adam Scott, runner-up last year, clattered his tee at the first into the lofty pines but a wonderful second onto the green allowed him to two-putt for par. Martin Kaymer and Robert Karlsson both dropped shots at the first, while Stadler is now four over after six.

  195. 1429: 

    Paul Lawrie, of course, last competed in Augusta in 2004 and his best finish in the competition was 15th nine years ago. The 1999 Open winner has gradually returned to form over the last few months, finishing second in the Dubai World Championship last December and then going on to win the Qatar Masters in January and after eight years in the wilderness is back in the world's top 50. The 43-year-old Scot is a man on a mission and gave an interesting interview in February on his game, but I can't help but feel Alan Weir is being a tad optimistic about Lawrie's chances, but what do I know! (Don't answer that.)


    Alan Weir on Twitter: "If it rains, or the wind blows, don't forget Paul Lawrie! He's surprised us once before and could do it again."

    Rob Hodgetts, BBC Sport at Augusta

    On Twitter: "Poignant press conference with 'Big Three' Palmer, Player & Nicklaus. Some laughs & a discussion on the state of the game & how to fix it. All touched by Phil Mickelson appearing by 1st tee in his Green Jacket to watch them hit ceremonial drives together for first time. Asked who drove furthest, Nicklaus diplomatically said: "I don't think any of us can see that far. We can hear them all land though."

  198. 1414: 

    Six groups are now going about their business on the course and there have been plenty of bogeys. Oh, yes. It's early days, but Craig Stadler has made an awful start, bogeying three of the first five holes, while his playing partner Robert Garrigus opened with a triple bogey at the first, but soon made amends with a birdie on the second. Meanwhile, everyone's favourite Spaniard (possibly) Jose Maria Olazabal was steady away until he ran into trouble on the fourth.

  199. 1402: 

    Predicting who will slip on the single breasted green sports jacket (brass buttons included) come Sunday evening is as problematic as negotiating Amen corner. Nevertheless, that doesn't stop us or the experts trying. BBC 5 Live's Iain Carter says Luke Donald could "end golf's current era of unpredictability." Gary Player has tipped Rory McIlroy, while Andrew Cotter thinks Phil Mickelson will triumph. "His putting seems to be getting closer again and Augusta just inspires him," says Cotter of Mickelson. But I want to know who you guys and gals think will win the first Major of the year. Don't be shy, tweet or text, you know the drill. Thanks!


    Jon in Hinchley Wood: "On the azalea theme, how about some floral golfers? Our English Rose, Lucas Fox-Glover, Jason Daisy? Must be some others..."


    James O'Rourke on Twitter: "Fancy McDowell for the Masters, runner up to Tiger last week, going about his business quietly."


    Alistair Murdoch on Twitter: "The winner with caddy No. 53 bib statistic is good enough for a \u00a32 bet on Westwood for me!"


    Jamie Di Biasio on Twitter: "I think Rickie Fowler really has a chance to do something in this Masters. He's been performing nicely and is due a big result."

  204. 1343: 

    There will be fewer trees around the course, too, after thunderstorms uprooted trees and washed out bunkers. Chairman Billy Payne is adamant the adverse weather won't impact on the competition. More thundery downpours are forecast for the opening day, however, and if you won't take my word for it then perhaps listen to BBC Weather's. What he doesn't know about the weather...

  205. 1337: 

    Augusta, usually a rival to London's Kew Gardens, is a little less colourful than usual because the red, pink and white azaleas are apparently wilting quickly after spring arrived early in Georgia. Defending champion Charl Schwartzel confirmed our fears: "I was here a week ago last Thursday, and they were beautiful. But the first thing I thought was 'they're all going to be gone'." Hopefully one or two will still be in bloom over the weekend to add to the varying shades of green.


    Mike in Devon: "The Masters is amazing but The Open is special too so not sure about The Masters being the finest of them all!"


    Tim in Marlow: "I would give my eye teeth to walk around Augusta National when there's no golf being played - so to say I'm jealous of those 'patrons' who attend the Masters and the journalists who cover it doesn't do my envy justice. I'm greener than a green jacket with jealousy!"

  208. 1324: 

    But, although we'd all love Rory and Tiger to be in contention come Sunday, other golfers are available. World number one Luke Donald seems to have avoided the fanfare and the flashbulbs so far this week, but he has the short game and will undoubtedly be a contender. There's also Lee Westwood, world number three, on top of his game, 40 next year, and still searching for the elusive first Major. We should also mention three-time winner Phil Mickelson, the in-form Hunter Mahan, Justin Rose, Graeme McDowell and, of course, defending champion Charl Schwartzel. And we shouldn't forget Adam Scott and Keegan Bradley. [Takes deep breath to stop hyperventilating]

  209. 1321: 

    There are so many storylines brewing at Augusta that Hollywood's finest scriptwriters must have played a part in the build up. There's Tiger v Rory: The old versus the new, the master of the Masters hoping to continue his resurrection versus the youngster, tipped to be the game's dominant force, returning to the scene of his lowest moment in the sport.

  210. 1311: 

    Don't forget to tweet or text us your musings, predictions and tittle-tattle on the finest golf tournament of them all. You can pop us a tweet using the hashtag #bbcmasters or tweet me aimee_lou_lewis - or, yes there is more, get those fingers texting 81111. Please? Thanking you.


    Richard Conway on Twitter: "Caddy of winner for last three Masters to end on Easter Sunday all had no. 53 bib. This year's 53? Billy Foster for Lee Westwood."

  212. 1306: 

    Three-time champion Phil Mickelson, wearing his green jacket, was among those watching the ceremonial start, even though he isn't due to start his quest for glory until 1853 BST. America's Craig Stadler, the 1982 champion, Brendan Steele and South Africa's Tim Clark have got this eagerly-anticipated tournament underway. This is just a guess, but these tee times (all BST) and players might be of interest to you: Tiger Woods (1535), Luke Donald (1546), Lee Westwood (1758), Rory McIlroy (1842) and finally in the final group, Phil Mickelson (1853).

    Rob Hodgetts, BBC Sport at Augusta

    On Twitter: "Not sure I've ever laughed so much at 0725. Ropes go up, patrons are let in & the fast walking to get to 1st tee funnier than Python. If there had been Olympic walking adjudicators on hand, many would have been disqualified for not enough simultaneous heel/ground action."

  214. 1253:  
    Iain Carter, BBC Sport

    On Twitter: "First title of the week goes to Gary Player who wins the veteran past champion longest drive prize."

  215. 1251: 

    Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, a trio who have won 13 of the 75 Masters to date, were today's honorary starters and have hit the ceremonial opening drives. Player, taking his place as an honorary starter for the first time and, at 76, still managing to get around a golf course five shots below his age, described teeing off alongside his old adversaries as a "great thrill".

  216. 1249: 

    Hello there! Whether or not we're in Augusta matters not one jot, though. I think Colin Montgomerie speaks for us all when he said this week: "I did not think it possible I could be this excited going to a tournament in which I wasn't playing. And perhaps that sums up the potential of the 76th Masters."

  217. 1247: 

    Once parked along the circular drive, remove the golf clubs from the boot, don your mothballed olive green jacket and doff your cap to the awaiting members.

    Wow, wow, wow. Remove the golf clubs? Don your green jacket? It's all getting a bit fanciful this, isn't it? Let's be honest, they wouldn't let us or our golf bags anywhere near Augusta, the venue for the most fantastic of all the Majors.*

    *That's until we start our coverage for the Open.

  218. 1242: 

    Let's take a drive down Magnolia Lane, where the towering trees shade you from the smothering Georgian heat. Ease off the accelerator. Slowly is the way to enter the divine Augusta National Golf Club, to memorize the beguiling beauty of the unspoiled apple green lawns, to breathe in the wafting scent of the azaleas and the dogwood, to marvel at the white clubhouse and that famous USA-shaped flower bed as they creep ever nearer into view...