Augusta, April 7:
Vijay Singh was at the top of the Masters leaderboard. No surprise there.
Phil Mickelson was right in the mix. Thatâ€™s to be expected. Tiger Woods got off to a sluggish start at Augusta National. Sounds about right. Still, there were plenty of surprises on Day 1: Rocco Mediate and Arron Oberholser were Singhâ€™s closest challengers, and Ben Crenshaw put himself in contention with a stunning round.
Showing no regard for the longer, tougher course, Singh put up a bogey-free, 5-under 67 that gave him a one-shot lead over Mediate on Thursday. Oberholser, a Masters rookie, was another shot back.
Mickelson shot 70, part of a group three strokes off the lead that included two-time US Open champion Retief Goosen.
Oberholser didnâ€™t have high expectations coming into his first Masters, and his attitude remained the same after he shot 69.
Defending champion Woods came as a favourite to win his fifth green jacket â€” only Jack Nicklaus has more â€” and felt good about his opening 72. Woods finished strong with a birdie at No 18, leaving him solidly in contention. Remember: He started last year with a 74, but went on to beat Chris DiMarco in a playoff.