action:article | category:SPORTS05 | adString:SPORTS05 | zoneID:40

Home » Sports » Golf

April 10. 2014 9:03PM

Haas leads Masters; Mickelson slumps


U.S. golfer Bill Haas watches his tee shot on the 17th hole during the first round of the Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., on Thursday. (REUTERS/Mike Blake)

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Former FedExCup champion Bill Haas tied his lowest score in a major to snatch the lead at the Masters on Thursday while defending champ Adam Scott experienced a real sense of deja vu in the opening round.

Haas, whose great uncle Bob Goalby landed the coveted green jacket in 1968, recovered from a bogey five at the opening hole to set the pace at four-under 68.

Scott, bidding to become only the fourth player to win back-to-back Masters, missed only four fairways but failed to make the most of his birdie opportunities on the greens as he returned a 69 to match his effort at the same stage last year.

Bubba Watson shared second place at 69 along with Scott and the player he defeated in a playoff here in 2012, South African Louis Oosthuizen.

Rory McIlroy, the 12-1 pre-tournament favorite along with Australian Scott, launched his campaign with a 71.

Triple Masters winner Phil Mickelson veered from the sublime to the ridiculous as he ballooned to a 76, matching his previous worst opening round at the championship in 1997 and 2007. Lefty suffered two sevens in his round but also curled in a snaking 60-foot putt for an unlikely birdie three at the 10th.

World No. 1 Tiger Woods may be missing from this year's lineup following back surgery but there was no shortage of thrills on a sun-kissed day at Augusta National.

The 31-year-old Haas hit the front after bagging three birdies on each nine, including a six-footer at the last hole that gave him his first three at the 18th at the 17th career attempt.

The pin at the final hole was typical of the tricky flag positions on day one, tucked in on the corner of the putting surface.

"Birdying 18 was a huge bonus," the 2011 FedExCup winner said at the opening major championship of the year. "I made some nice putts today, a couple of 20-footers, and that can certainly make a difference.

"Today there was a bunch of tough pins and I think sometimes you've just got to say ... you either go at it or you're going to have 50 feet left because it's going to roll on the slopes."

Haas, the son of former U.S. Ryder Cup player Jay senior, refused to get too carried away with his performance.

"I was leading last week after the first round and finished 37th," he said of the Houston Open, "so I know there's tons of golf left.

"I can't expect too much. You've just got to go out there and keep playing golf, try to hit that fairway on number one tomorrow."

Argentina's Angel Cabrera, the player beaten by Scott in a playoff last year, had a day to forget as he plunged to a 78 that contained a triple-bogey seven at the 11th.

U.S. Open champion Justin Rose (76), 2007 Masters winner Zach Johnson (78), WGC-Match Play champion Jason Day (75) and U.S. PGA winner Jason Dufner (80) also struggled.


 NH Sports Angle more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

Spurs' Matt Bonner will wear aew Adidas Crazy 8 shoes for Christmas Day game

Jason Saltmarsh: Runners should never have to pay for their race photos

Ex-official pleads guilty to embezzling thousands from Pembroke football nonprofit

Former New Hampshire goalie DeSmith tells his side of arrest, dismissal from team

NH hockey team moving to Maine could be worth at least $1 million in economic activity say city officials

New owners of Claremont plan to put speedway back on track

Speedway in Claremont bought for nearly $519,000

Lebanon marathoner qualifies for US Olympic Trials

Matt Bonner talks about the end of the run, making the simple play, and playing until he's 40

Ex-UNH goalie agrees to diversion,receive counseling, avoids jail

Wildcats will face Chattanooga in prime time

New England Revolution forward Charlie Davies teaches supporters how to believe

Helmetless Football? Its the new practice at UNH

CASEY DeSMITH

DeSmith officially dismissed from New Hampshire team, but can return to class as of Dec. 20

San Antonio Spurs forward Matt Bonner (15), of Concord, N.H., shoots the ball against Boston Celtics center Tyler Zeller (44) during the second half at TD Garden.

Rapper Lil B gives shoutout to…Matt Bonner?

Manchester Central's Tyler Stratton watches his shot get by Spaulding High School (Rochester) goalie Derek Scott during a shootout at the 2012 Bauer Christmas Hockey Classic hosted at JFK Coliseum in Manchester.

VFW downsizing threatens Spaulding hockey due to loss of venue for Bingo fundraisers

Eagles notes: Kelly committed to current job

5 face riot charges in beating incident at football game

Ayotte rips top sports league commissioners for snubbing hearing on domestic violence

Manchester Monarchs sign Josh Gratton to AHL contract

Can football without helmets lead to fewer concussions?

Trial date set for former UNH hockey coach accused of assaulting player

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

    SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

    ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!