Spain's Alvaro Quiros birdied the last two holes at Augusta National on Thursday to join Rory McIlroy as the first round leader at the Masters.
No one was more surprised than Quiros himself to see his name at the top of the leaderboard but his late charge was as spectacular as it was unexpected. With the sun already setting over the pine tree-lined course, only the golfing faithful remained to watch the final group finish their rounds but it was certainly worth the wait.
Quiros, who claimed his fifth European Tour title at the Dubai Desert Classic in February but has since struggled for form and confidence, was playing one of the best rounds of his life.
In each of his two previous appearances at the Masters, the 28-year-old Spaniard had missed the cut and had never broken par for a round.
But Quiros changed that after reaching the turn in three-under-par 33 and then covering the back nine in 32 for a spectacular seven-under 65. "The two previous years, I came to the Masters thinking that I can play well, shoot low, and this was my main mistake," he said.
Bad start for Atwal
It was not a happy debut at the Masters for Arjun Atwal, only the second Indian to play at the fabled Augusta National Club, as he ended at tied 97th with an eight-over 80 after the opening round. Atwal had a disappointing second nine during which he had three double bogeys.
Overall, the Indian, who is one of the closest friends of Tiger Woods, with whom he played the practice rounds, had just one birdie, one eagle, two bogeys and four double bogeys in a highly eventful and roller-coaster round. Woods had a one-under 71 with three birdies and two bogeys, on 10th and 11th. Atwal bogeyed fourth and fifth, and his sole birdie came on the eighth. On the back nine, he double bogeyed 10th, 12th, 13th and 18th.