While four-times champion and tournament favourite Tiger Woods made an impressive start in Thursday's opening round at the Masters, surprise package David Lynn surged into the early lead.
Englishman Lynn took advantage of relatively calm conditions at Augusta National to fire a four-under-par 68. Making his first appearance in the season's opening grand slam event, the 39-year-old “played the percentages,” mixing six birdies with two bogeys to take early control in mainly overcast conditions.
PGA Tour veteran David Toms and fellow American Kevin Na opened with 70s, while two more Americans, Ryan Moore and John Peterson, carded matching 71s.
Woods was at two under after 10 holes, having birdied the sixth and eighth. Lynn drew on advice he received via text from fellow Englishman David Gilford as he made a sparkling start on a grey day amid the Georgian pines.
“I just played the percentages,” PGA Tour rookie Lynn told reporters after covering the back nine in one-under 35. “A few times today I played away from the flags.
“David told me, ‘don't be intimidated by the greens, there are birdies out there.’ At times, I was aggressive with my putting.”
Asked when he first realised he was at the top of the leaderboard, Lynn grinned: “On the ninth. I said to my caddie,
'I'm leading the Masters.' He looked at me and he smiled.”
Woods made a solid start with a two-putt par at the first, where he has often struggled in the past.
The 14-times major champion picked up his first shot of the day at the par-three sixth, then birdied the par-five eighth to sit two strokes off the early lead.
Teen tees off
Chinese 14-year-old schoolboy Guan Tianlang became the youngest player in Masters history, shattering the previous age mark for the youngest Masters player set by Italy's Matteo Manassero at age 16 in 2010. Manassero and two-time Masters champion Ben Crenshaw were Guan’s partners for the historic round.