Westwood leads from Oosthuizen and Hanson
By Peter Auf der Heyde Apr 5, 2012, 23:52 GMT
Augusta, Georgia - Former world number one Lee Westwood takes a one-shot lead into Friday's second round at the Masters after carding a five-under-par 67 in the first round.
The Briton, who has never won a major, has a one-shot lead from South African Louis Oosthuizen, who birdied the last three holes to finish on 68 and Swede Peter Hanson, who is also on four-under.
Golfing superstar Tiger Woods, who is looking for a fifth win, had to settle for a par 72 finish, as did title holder Charl Schwartzel.
Westwood, who equaled his best-ever score at the Masters, said that he prepared for the Masters by taking away as much pressure as he could. 'I have played here enough. I have learned the golf course and I feel pretty comfortable.
'I have had a good career and won pretty much everything there is to win apart from a major. It is my main focus now to win a major,' he said.
Oosthuizen said he drew inspiration from Schwartzel, who last year birdied the last four holes en route to a two-shot victory. 'I tried to do the same, but missed one,' the 2010 British Open champion said.
A group of six players, consisting of Paul Lawrie, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Francesco Molinari, Ben Crane, Jason Dufner and Bubba Watson are on three-under-par 69.
Earlier, Henrik Stenson seemed on course to give himself the best birthday present, but a record-equaling quadruple-bogey at the last hole cost him dearly as it took him to one-under.
Going into the par-four 18th, the Swede was on five-under, but after the snowman - as an eight on the scorecard is called in golfing terms - he fell well behind the leaders.
Stenson, who turned 36 on Thursday, hit two eagles going out to finish the opening nine holes on 31, within one shot of the course record, jointly held by four players.
'It was a very disappointing finish, but I had a lot of fun out there. I was just a little bit all over in the back nine and that cost me,' Stenson said.
Rory McIlroy, who last year led for the three opening rounds, came back strongly on the two final holes with two birdies, to finish on one-under.
Woods struggled to hold his par on the two opening holes, but then managed to play a birdie on the par-four third. A bogey and a further birdie saw him finish the opening nine holes with 35. He went on to birdie the 10th, but finished the back nine with two bogeys for a total par 72.
South African Schwartzel, meanwhile, played four birdies, but also four bogeys in his opening round of par 72.
Three-time champion Phil Mickelson, who is one of the favourites, disappointed as he carded a two-over 74, to tie for 55th place, and will have to improve in Friday's second round if he does not want to miss the cut.
Also in danger of not playing in the two final rounds is world number one Luke Donald, who is on three over.
Somewhat against expectation, all players managed to complete their round as storms that had been threatening during the day stayed away and light rain did not cause an interruption.
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