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Masters first round recap: A 14-year-old, a 53-year-old and Sergio Garcia headline action at Augusta

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Tianlang Guan — Getty Images

• Is there really anything else we can say about the incredible play of 14-year-old Tianlang Guan? It was impressive enough that the youngest player to ever tee it up at the Masters played his way into Augusta National, but on Thursday he shot a round of 1-over 73, something nobody saw coming. Guan beat a host of big PGA Tour stars and former major winners and stole the show in the first round at the Masters.

Sergio Garcia, who just a year ago said at this event that he might not be good enough to win major championships, put together a brilliant round of 6-under 66 that didn't include a bogey. Garcia hasn't finished in the top-10 at the Masters since 2004, so this start is a positive moving forward for the 33-year-old.

• Fred Couples has the unique ability to turn back the clock at Augusta National, and he did it again on Thursday. The first round leader here in 2010, Couples shot a round of 4-under 68 that has him in the hunt again at the age of 53.

• Phil Mickelson managed to golf his ball around Augusta National in 71 shots despite not really getting anything going at all in the first round, while Rory McIlroy settled for a disappointing round of even-par 72.

It was a pretty businesslike day for Tiger Woodswho opened with a round of 2-under 70 that is just good enough. Woods got it to 3-under with a birdie on the par-5 13th, but a three-putt bogey on No. 14 and a failed attempt at a birdie on 15 left him at 2-under, where he finished.

The good news for Tiger fans is that in three of his four Masters wins, Woods opened with a round of 70, so that has to be a positive heading into the final three rounds.

• You might not be familiar with David Lynn, the 39-year-old Englishman, but you should know that he finished second alone at the PGA Championship last year. We broke down some other things about him after he opened with a round of 4-under 68 in his first Masters.

• It wasn't just Lynn that was surprising the world with his early play at the Masters. Australian Marc Leishman grabbed the early round lead with his round of 6-under 66. Leishman won the 2012 Travelers Championship with a final round 62 and finished T-27 at the PGA Championship a year ago.

• The curse of the Par-3 Tournament winner seemed to continue on Thursday. Ted Potter Jr., who defeated Phil Mickelson and Matt Kuchar on Wednesday to snag the Par-3 crown, opened with a round of 4-over 76. The left-hander was playing fine until he got to the par-4 17th, where he made a triple-bogey to drop well down the leaderboard.

• If Bubba is going to defend his title at Augusta National, he will have to really step it up. The 2012 champion failed to birdie both par-5s on the back nine on his way to a round of 3-over 75.

• Padraig Harrington came in with some hope of getting back to his major championship form but an opening round 78 has him all but slamming his trunk.

"I think probably not this year, I think one day in the future." -- 14-year-old Tianlang Guan, when asked if he can win the Masters this yearadd citation

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Arnold Palmer watches his opening drive on Thursday morning. (AP)

For the seventh year in a row, Arnold Palmer served as one of the tournament's official starters. He was joined by fellow champions Jack Nicklaus, who has done the honors since 2010 and Gary Player, who joined Arnie and Jack in 2012. Six other men have played the role of starter since the tradition was started in 1963. See the complete list here.

There were plenty of great shots to start the 2013 Masters, but do you really think we aren't picking Jamie Donaldson's hole-in-one on the par-3 6th? It was the first ace on that hole since 2004 and just the fifth ever on No. 6.

The Par-5 15th, Firethorn

With the back right pin position on Thursday at the last par-5 on the golf course, guys had plenty of chances to go after one of the must-birdie holes on the back nine in hopes of improving their score. Tiger Woods couldn't convert his birdie putt, Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy just missed out on eagle chips from just off the back and Rickie Fowler added an eagle to his card here.

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Here's Guan's long birdie putt on 18. 

With a round in the books at the 2013 Masters, there are so many storylines it's hard to keep count. Will Tialang Guan make the cut? Can Tiger make up ground on the leaders? What will Fred Couples do to follow up his impressive 68?

I think the two things we need to pay attention to is the weather on Thursday night in Augusta and the way the early groups can get after this golf course. The winds are supposed to be down on Friday, so if guys going early like Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson can make a ton of early birdies it might put some pressure on some of the late guys like Tiger and Leishman.

Don't miss a thing this Masters weekend!
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