Australia's Marc Leishman and Sergio Garcia of Spain shared the lead at the 77th Masters after both shot six-under 66s in the first round at Augusta National.
Leishman had set the early pace, sparked by four birdies in a row from the 13th, but Garcia matched him late in the day with a bogey-free round that matched his best ever at the Masters, where he debuted in 1999.
Dustin Johnson of the United States was a stroke further back at 67 with six players -- Rickie Fowler, Fred Couples and Matt Kuchar of the United States, David Lynn of England, 2008 champion Trevor Immelman of South Africa and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano of Spain -- grouped together on 68. Tiger Woods was tucked in with a batch of players on two-under 70 while Rory McIlroy shot level par and Phil Mickelson had a 71.
China’s 14-year-old prodigy Guan Tianlang, who became the youngest player ever in Masters history, came in with a 73 to preserve his chances of playing at the weekend.
Reigning champion Bubba Watson struggled to a three-over 75. By the end of a day of intense action, 45 players in the 93-strong field were at or under par and within six shots of the lead.