Strong start for Scott in defence of Masters title

WORLD No2 Adam Scott admitted he was overwhelmed by the reception from the Augusta crowd yesterday, as the defence of his Masters title began with a round of three under par.

The Australian trails leader Bill Haas by one shot, having found the water on 12 to finish with a double-bogey, ironically the hole which gave him the most satisfaction.

Scott said: “The reception into every green and almost every tee box was incredible, and the best one, the memory that will stick with me forever, was walking up to the 12th tee and everyone getting out of their seats as I approached. But then I went and hit the water.”

Haas, the world No31 who finished 20th at Augusta last year, recovered from a bogey at the first to finish on 68. South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen and 2012 champion Bubba Watson were the only others to shoot a sub-70 round to claim a share of second place.

Pre-tournament favourite Rory McIlory finished one under, bogeying the 18th. English amateur Matt Fitzpatrick dropped two shots at the first hole, but regrouped to finish four over par.

Englishmen Luke Donald and Justin Rose had a day to forget, carding seven over and four over respectively.

-4 Haas (right)
-3 Scott, Oosthuizen, Watson
-2 K Stadler, Blixt, Woodland Walker, Choi