Masters 2014 Live Blog: Follow all the opening round action

Augusta National — Getty Images

The Masters

Augusta National — Getty Images

It's here! It's finally here! The 2014 Masters are underway, and with that comes our insightful, interesting and hopefully entertaining live blog covering all things on Thursday at Augusta National.

We will keep you updated with news, events and photos throughout the day so if you're stuck and work and are missing the action, we are here to help.

Important linksCurrent leaderboard Tee times featured pairings Our picks to win

Have a question? Direct it to @shanebacon on Twitter.  The best questions and comments will be added to the running blog. Here we go, friends ...



7:23 PM — And that should do it for the Thursday live blog! Thanks for stopping by, hanging with us and enjoy the updates. We will be right back here on Friday to do the same thing, so make sure to swing by and get your Masters updates from Yahoo.

7:17 PM — And that will be a 76 for Phil Mickelson, matching his highest opening round ever at the Masters. He sits eight shots back of Haas, but at least he has an early tee time on Friday to go out and try to make some circles.

7:11 PM — As the opening day of the Masters winds down, we are looking through some of the great photos from Getty Images and loving this one of Russell Henley, who was, dare we say, out of position on the 13th. Henley went on to make bogey on the par-5. 

7:05 PM — Keegan Bradley opened with a double-bogey on No. 1, but held it together enough to post a Thursday 75, meaning he isn't totally out of it, just needs a low one on Friday.

6:56 PM — Australian Marc Leishman, who finished T-4 a year ago at Augusta, opens with a 2-under 70, one of the better rounds of the afternoon tee times.

6:51 PM — Ryan Moore posts an opening 77 that included five closing bogeys. THIS IS WHAT YOU GET FOR WINNING THE PAR-3, RYAN!

6:49 PM — Current Masters leaderboard: Haas -4, Watson/Scott/Oosthuizen -3, Stadler/Blixt/Woodland/Walker/Choi/Snedeker -2, Couples/Fowler/Jimenez/Manassero/Spieth/McIlroy/Gallacher/Molinari/Leishman -1

6:45 PM — A really sold start for the 2012 Masters champion. Bubba Watson was bogey-free on Thursday, posting a 3-under 69 to sit a shot back of Bill Haas.

6:44 PM — The pace of play today was more tortoise than hare.

6:41 PM — This image of Matt Kuchar and his caddie walking across the Sarazen Bridge is awesome.

6:33 PM — A couple of the big names finishing their disappointing rounds. Dustin Johnson posts 77 while Jason Day posts 75. There is always tomorrow, but it better be very, very low.

6:31 PM — The grouping of Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose and Ernie Els are a combined 10-over today at Augusta National.

6:27 PM — And Phil can't get that up and down. That's a double-bogey for Mickelson, who is now 4-over on his round.

6:24 PM — Phil Mickelson is not happy with that shot (via @adam_sarson

GIF: Sad Phil. on Twitpic
GIF: Sad Phil. on Twitpic


6:22 PM — Well, that wasn't what Mickelson wanted. His third shot on the 15th finds the water, and now he will be scrambling just to make bogey.

6:18 PM — Bubba's birdie bid on the 17th just slides by while Phil Mickelson is forced to lay up on the 15th after his tee shot went left.

6:12 PM — Phil Mickelson makes his first bogey of the day on the 14th after an errant tee shot. He moves back to 2-over with the par-5 upcoming.

5:56 PM — Bubba's birdie putt on 16 is just a hair low. He settles for a par after a brilliant tee shot and remains at 3-under, a shot back of Haas.

5:54 PM — Augusta National's greens can bring even the best in the world to their knees.

5:53 PM — Phil Mickelson, who hit his second shot over the back of the 13th green, still is able to make a really, really solid birdie to get back to 1-over for the day.

5:45 PM — The Bubba eagle putt just slides by on the high side. A good putt, and that will be his third birdie of the day to go to 3-under, a shot back of Haas.

5:40 PM — Bubba Watson is quietly going about his work, 2-under through 14 holes with an uphill eagle putt on the 15th hole.

5:35 PM — Our 12th hole jinx continues, as Mickelson's birdie putt slides by. He makes par, but hits driver in a perfect spot on the 13th to have a go at it in two.

5:32 PM Louis Oosthuizen birdies the final hole to join just two other players that posted a sub-70 round. He's in with a 3-under 69, just a shot back of Haas.

5:25 PM — And Mickelson takes it right at the flag on the 12th hole, that has been beating up players all day long. He hits one of the shots of the day, and has 8 feet or so for a second birdie in three holes.

5:23 PM — Phil Mickelson keeps the momentum going with a huge par save on the 11th. The fist pump happened, the smile was there, and it looks like Phil is now locked in as he stands on the 12th tee.

5:10 PM — Sang Moon-Bae went long on the par-5 15th, a big no-no if you've ever watched the Masters, but no problem, as he pitches the slippery shot right in the middle of the hole for the first eagle of the day on No. 15. He moves to 1-under for the day.

5:04 PM — The Phil putt on No. 10 ...


4:58 PM — And on the 10th hole on Thursday, we finally get our first Phil fireworks! Mickelson rolls in a bomb of a birdie putt from across the green for his first birdie of the day and to move back to 2-over for the round.

4:50 PM Louis Oosthuizen with a very clever up and down on the 15th hole for a birdie that moves him to 3-under for the day, a shot back of Haas.

4:49 PM — Not going to mention Tiger Woods much today, but he did send out this tweet after the big three hit their tee shots on Thursday morning.

4:44 PM — Phil Mickelson's scorecard only has one blemish through nine holes, but it was a big, big blemish. Eight pars, one triple-bogey and the three-time Masters champion has a lot of work to do on the back nine to get himself in the conversation.

4:38 PM — Ouch!!

4:30 PM — Two men showing that the azaleas aren't the only things popping with color at Augusta National.

4:14 PM — Strange happenings that we will keep our eye on; Phil Mickelson hit an iron off the tee on the par-5 8th hole, something you never see there. He doesn't look like he's grabbing his back or side, but that decision definitely points towards him possibly tweaking something.

4:11 PM — Our top-10 currently includes Bill Haas, Adam Scott, Jimmy Walker, Brandt Snedeker, Louis Oosthuizen, Fred Couples, Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson and Sergio Garcia. So that's pretty good.

4:05 PM — The young guns finished up; Rory McIlroy bogeys the 18th for a round of 71, Patrick Reed bogeys his final three holes to finish up at 1-over 73, and Jordan Spieth is the only one in the group to par 18 for a solid round of 71.

3:56 PM — Ouch! Phil Mickelson just makes a triple-bogey on the 7th hole after all pars to start his round. He's 3-over now, and well back of the leaders.

3:55 PM — Defending champ Adam Scott opens with a 3-under 69.

3:43 PM — Some front nine updates for you; 2012 champion Bubba Watson is 1-under after 8, Sergio Garcia is 1-under after 7, Jason Day is even after eight and Phil Mickelson is even-par after six.

3:28 PM — Lee Westwood shouldn't be hard to find on the course this Thursday.

3:22 PM — Also, the eagles have started! Ken Duke and Matt Jones both make a three on the par-5 13th. Duke's second shot was inches away from hitting the stick for a possible double-eagle, but both now will leave with some Augusta National crystal goblets awarded for any eagle.

3:21 PM — A two-putt birdie on the 15th and Rory McIlroy is now 2-under with three holes to play. Just a solid, solid round for Rory so far, who is looking for his first ever top-10 at Augusta National.

3:17 PM — All in all, a pretty solid day for Miguel Angel Jimenez, who posted an opening 71.

Bill Haas, playing with him, is 4-under in the clubhouse and our leader so far at the Masters.

3:11 PM — Adam Scott, who was rolling earlier in his round, has struggled on the back nine at Augusta. He three-putted both par-5s for par, but still sits at 3-under and tied for the lead.

2:58 PM — Adam Scott and his caddie, Steve Williams, make one of the coolest walks in all of golf.

2:51 PM — Quietly in the clubhouse with a solid opening round: Rickie Fowler (-1), Couples (-1), McDowell (E), John Senden (E).

2:46 PM — Leaderboard update - Haas -4, Oosthuizen -3, a "Game of Thrones" like cast of people at 2-under. Check out everyone right here.

2:39 PM — Jason Dufner, our PGA Championship winner, just made a nine on the par-5 13th. This face says it all.

2:34 PM — And Fred Couples continues to do what Fred Couples does at the Masters. He opens with a 1-under 71. His last four starts at Augusta National have resulted in a sixth, T-15, T-12, and T-13. A reminder, he's 54 years old.

2:27 PM — Giving a look to some of the early disappointments from the opening round of the Masters. Angel Cabrera, the '09 champ who lost to Adam Scott a year ago in a playoff here, with a 78. Zach Johnson is 5-over with four holes to play. Graham DeLaet, playing in his first Masters, is 6-over after just seven holes.

2:21 PM — Stephen Gallacher continuing the trend this year of guys that have never played at the Masters playing just fine to start. He's 3-under after his opening nine and alone in second place.

2:13 PM — And Haas has now extended his lead to two with a birdie on No. 14. He's 4-under for the day, two clear of Stadler, Blixt, Scott, Woodland, Couples, and Gallacher.

Haas' dad, Jay Haas, finished in the top-10 at the Masters five times in his career. Bill's best finish is a T-20 a season ago.

2:08 PM — And, we spoke a little too soon. Scott missed the short bogey putt on No. 12, makes double-bogey, drops to 2-under, a shot behind current leader Bill Haas.

2:02 PM — And Adam Scott makes his first mistake of the day on the 12th. The short par-3 has been absolutely brutal today, and Scott's tee shot finds the creek. His pitch is a few feet below the hole, so it looks like a bogey for the defending champion.

1:51 PM — Phil Mickelson, playing with Ernie Els and Justin Rose, is off on No. 1 at Augusta. In Phil's three wins here, he has opened with rounds of 72, 70 and 67.

1:49 PM — Adam Scott is trying to do something we haven't seen in a very, very long time.

1:44 PM — If you're a fan of golf shoes, you have to check out the Keegan Bradley Masters-themed Jordans he is rocking this week. Bradley is just about to start his opening round at the Masters in just a few minutes.

1:40 PM — With some of the leaders making bogeys, Scott now has a two-shot lead at Augusta. Just a reminder how he has done in his last nine major starts; 7, T-8, T-15, 2, T-11, Win, T-45, T-3 and T-5.

1:29 PM — And a year after his Masters win, Adam Scott is again leading the Masters. His birdie on the No. 10 brings us back to the playoff a year ago. Four birdies, no bogeys and two par-5s coming up.

1:22 PM — The young stud group of Rory McIlroy, Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth have very different games for Augusta National, yet all sit at 1-under after 8 holes.

1:11 PM — If you looked at this picture you wouldn't think Jimenez is leading the Masters. That was his reaction after his tee shot on the tough par-3 4th hole (he went on to make par).

1:05 PM — So this Adam Scott guy might be alright after all. After just 8 holes he's 3-under and very much in contention. We haven't had a back-to-back winner at Augusta since Tiger Woods did it in '01-'02, but if someone can do it, it's the Aussie with the stubble.

12:52 PM —And Jonas Blixt joins Stadler in the clubhouse at 2-under. Neither have played in a Masters before, so this is your early reminder that it's just Thursday at Augusta National.

Current leaderboard - Jimenez -4, Stricker and Snedeker -3, Stadler, Blixt, Couples, Haas, Manassero, Scott, McIlroy and Lyle are all at -2.

12:48 PM — And we have our first clubhouse leader! Kevin Stadler, playing in his first Masters alongside his father, Craig, posted a 2-under 70.

12:41 PM — Why is Miguel Angel Jimenez the most interesting man in the world? More than these stretching routines the man is just cool. At 50, he would be the oldest winner ever at the Masters, passing Jack Nicklaus who was 46 in 1986. 

12:35 PM — JImenez takes the solo lead with a birdie on the par-4 9th. Jonas Blixt is a shot back as well as — hey! — Sandy Lyle. The 56-year-old Scotsman birdied the second, third and fourth holes. 

12:34 PM — Who's hungry?

12:25 PM — Some familiar names have gotten off to disappointing starts. Among them: Zach Johnson (+4 through 8), Tom Watson (+4 through 12), YE Yang (+4 through 16), Billy Horschel (+3 through 12) and Angel Cabrera (+3 through 11).

12:20 PM — How many golf shots must these hands have between them? 


12:06 PM — A birdie by Miguel Angel Jimenez on the par-4 7th and a bogey by Jonas Blixt on par-5 15th means we have a tie atop the leaderboard at -3. Kevin Stadler, Fred Couples and Bill Haas are all one shot back. 

12:00 PM — is about to start its "featured group" coverage." None of the 18 golfers are at the top of the leaderboard yet (four of the six groups haven't even teed off yet) but plenty of big names to follow.

Featured group No. 1
9:35 AM: Graeme McDowell, Rickie Fowler, Jimmy Walker
12:20 PM: Matt Kuchar, Louis Oosthuizen, Thongchai Jaidee
1:48 PM: Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Justin Rose 

Featured group No. 2
9:57 AM: Zach Johnson, KJ Choi, Steve Stricker
12:31 PM: Trevor Immelman, Graham DeLaet, Oliver Goss
1:59 PM: Harris English, Lee Westwood, Russell Henley

11:51 AM — Death, taxes and Freddie Couples making noise at The Masters.  The 54-year-old just moved to -2 with a birdie on the par-5 eighth. Couples, who won the tournament in 1992, is riding four straight top-20 finishes including a sixth-place showing in 2010. 

11:46 AM — File this under the "good to know" category: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is apparently a member of Augusta National.

That, or he won the tournament back in the '80s when we weren't paying attention.  

11:39 AM — Jonas Blixt (-4) takes an early two-shot lead over Kevin Stadler and Matteo Manassero with a birdie on the par-5 13th. 

11:36 AM — Zach Johnson was riding a lot of momentum coming into this Masters, but it isn't carrying over at Augusta. The 2007 Masters champion is +4 through six with bogeys on 1, 3, 5 and 6. Johnson won the Hyundai Tournament of Champions to start 2014 and placed top 10 in 2013's British and PGA. 

11:30 AM — An Irish man bet $1,600 on Rory McIlroy to win The Masters because he thought he saw the golfer's face in his morning Danish. True story: Our own Jay Busbee has the details.

11:20 AM — Early leaderboard update - Blixt -3, Kevin Stadler -2, Manassero -2.

11:12 AM — Boo Weekley is not what I'd consider a golf historian.

11:07 AM — Adam Scott starts his defense of the green jacket with a ho-hum approach on No. 1 to a couple of feet. Makes his birdie, now 1-under after just one.

10:54 AM — Rickie Fowler off to a hot start, with two birdies over his first four holes. Fowler has made the cut in his last three Masters, but failed to finish in the top-25 in any of them. The biggest concern for Fowler this week is avoiding the big number, something that has been haunting him all season long.

10: 47 AM — Boo Weekley might be taking this whole "everything at Augusta National should be green" thing a little too far.

10:42 AM — Asking people on Twitter what hole at Augusta they like the most. Getting a resounding No. 13 answer. Everyone loves the par-5s!

10:35 AM — Jonas Blixt joins Simpson atop the leaderboard at 3-under. He opened with two pars, then didn't make another one on his front nine. Five birdies, two bogeys on his way out. This is Blixt's first Masters start. 

10:18 AM — Webb Simpson has now birdied the opening three holes of the Masters. The front nine record at Augusta National is 30 (6-under), held by four players, so a few more birdies for the former U.S. Open champion and we could be breaking new ground.

10:10 AM — Welcome all! It's the live Masters blog for the opening round and we're happy to have you. We wouldn't be doing our job if we didn't show you the scene from earlier, so here is Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus kicking off the 2014 Masters. What a scene. 

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