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The Masters: Koepka, Rahm and Hovland share the lead as Woods battles to make a cut at Augusta National

Jon Rahm, Viktor Hovland and Brooks Koepka hold a share of the lead after a low-scoring opening round. Meanwhile, Tiger Woods faces a battle to avoid missing the cut at The Masters for the first time as a professional.


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Tiger Woods

Woods made a disappointing start to his bid for an unlikely 16th major title making his 25th appearance at The Masters as Rory McIlroy made a slow start to his Grand Slam bid.

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Woods, admitted to being in “constant” pain during an opening-round 74 after he missed the cut at The Open last July, as he mixed three birdies with five bogeys.

The 47-year-old’s total was his highest opening round at The Masters since 2005, the year he claimed the fourth of five victories at Augusta National, with Woods in visible discomfort throughout as he fell nine shots behind clubhouse leaders Viktor Hovland and Jon Rahm.

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“I felt like I drove it good, I just didn’t do the job I need to do to get the ball close,” Woods told reporters. “Today was the opportune time to get the round under par and I didn’t do that today.

“Most of the guys are going low today. This was the day to do it. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be a little bit better, a little bit sharper and I kind of inch my way through it.

“This is going to be an interesting finish to the tournament with the weather coming in. If I can just kind of hang in there, maybe kind of inch my way back, hopefully, it will be positive towards the end.”

However, woods Playing partner Hovland set the clubhouse target with a brilliant bogey-free 65, which was later matched by Rahm.

Rahm recovered from a four-putt double-bogey on his opening hole to card an eagle and seven birdies in a brilliant seven-under 65 at Augusta National, seeing him join Ryder Cup team-mate Viktor Hovland at the top of the leaderboard.

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Hovland made a bogey-free start to his campaign for a maiden major title, while Koepka made it a three-way tie at the top following his firing seven birdies in a blemish-free 65.

The trio hold a two-shot cushion over closest challengers Jason Day and Cameron Young, who both posted opening-round 67s.

World’s No 1 Scottie Scheffler completed Woods’ three-ball as he holed out for an eagle on his opening hole starting his title defence with a four-under 68.

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McIlroy is seven off the pace as he chases an elusive major victory that would make him only the sixth person in history to complete the career Grand Slam and the first since Tiger Woods.


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