AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - The 81st U.S. Masters started on Thursday. Following are the highlights on the opening day at the first major championship of the year.
AMERICAN HOFFMAN LEADS AFTER SIZZLING ROUND
Charley Hoffman tamed the tough conditions, and birdied the final four holes to card a seven-under 65, the Californian taking a four-stroke lead.
AMERICAN JOURNEYMAN MCGIRT CARDS THREE UNDER PAR
American journeyman William McGirt completed a solid round of 69 to end the day in second place on three under par.
JOHNSON PULLS OUT DUE TO BACK INJURY
World number one Dustin Johnson pulled out of the tournament at the last minute due to a back injury. The American, who suffered a freak accident on Wednesday, arrived on the first tee before walking back to the clubhouse where he informed organizers he was unable to play.
WESTWOOD IN THIRD PLACE
Englishman Lee Westwood, so close to winning so many majors, made a nice start in his quest for that elusive victory with a round of 70.
SPIETH MAKES QUADRUPLE BOGEY ON 15
American Jordan Spieth, Masters champion in 2015, took nine shots to negotiate the par-five 15th hole en route to a round of 75.
WILLETT STARTS DEFENSE WITH DOUBLE-BOGEY
England's Danny Willett began his defense of the title with a double-bogey six on the first hole, but recovers somewhat to shoot 73.
NICKLAUS, PLAYER HIT CEREMONIAL OPENING SHOTS
Six-times Masters champion Jack Nicklaus and three-times winner Gary Player struck the ceremonial opening tee shots to mark the start of the 81st Masters tournament.
(Compiled by Ed Osmond; Editing by Frank Pingue and Andrew Both)