Australia's Marc Leishman and Sergio Garcia were tied for the lead after both shot six-under 66s in the first round of the Masters on Thursday.
Leishman had set the early pace sparked by four birdies in a row from the 13th, but Garcia matched him late in the day with a bogey-free round that matched his best-ever at Augusta National, where he debuted in 1999.
Dustin Johnson of the United States was a stroke further back at 67 with six players -- David Lynn of England; Rickie Fowler, Freddie Couples and Matt Kuchar of the United States, 2008 champion Trevor Immelman of South Africa and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano of Spain -- grouped together on 68.
Tournament favorite Tiger Woods was tucked in with a batch of players on two-under 70 while world number two Rory McIlroy shot level par and three-time winner Phil Mickelson had a 71.
China's 14-year-old prodigy Guan Tianlang, who became the youngest player in Masters history, came in with a 73 to preserve his chances of playing at the weekend.
Reigning champion Bubba Watson struggled to a three-over 75.