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Golf: Storming start from Scott at Masters

Favorites Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy both made strong starts to the 78th Masters at Augusta National on Thursday. Scott, the defending champion from Australia, was three under at the turn and joint leader out on the course after opening with a birdie and adding two others at the sixth and eighth. McIlroy, the 2011 US Open and 2012 PGA Champion from Northern Ireland, was playing in the grouping immediately behind Scott and shadowed him all the way with birdies at the third and fifth, but a six at the eighth dropped him back to one-under at the turn.

Golf: No Tiger but Masters still has bite

The 78th Masters will get underway at Augusta National early Thursday morning with living legends Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player hitting the first balls as honorary starters. Another legend of the game, though, will be missing as, for the first time since he made his debut as a willowy amateur in 1995, Tiger Woods will be absent. The world number one and four time Masters winner announced on April 1 he would not be competing following surgery to repair a pinched nerve in his back that had been troubling him for months.

Golf: Scott defends as Masters starts without Tiger

The 78th Masters got underway under blue skies at Augusta National early Thursday morning with living legends Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player hitting the first balls as honorary starters. Another legend of the game, though, was missing as, for the first time since he made his debut as a willowy amateur in 1995, Tiger Woods was absent. The world number one and four time Masters winner announced on April 1 he would not be competing following surgery to repair a pinched nerve in his back that had been troubling him for months.

Lone European Tour golf tourney in S. Korea moves to Singapore

SEOUL, April 10 (Yonhap) -- Without corporate sponsors, the lone European Tour golf tournament in South Korea will move to Singapore this spring, officials said Thursday. The European Tour and the Asian Tour jointly announced that the tournament tentatively titled The Championship, originally scheduled to be played in South Korea in May, will be held in Singapore instead. Laguna National Golf and Country Club was unveiled as the new venue for the May 1-4 tournament.

Golf: Woosie gets Masters putdown from Rory

Rory McIlroy gave former Masters winner Ian Woosnam the ultimate thumbs down when the Irishman listed potential winners of this week's wide-open tournament. Asked at a news conference how many players in the field of 97 he thought were capable of winning, the Irishman pondered a moment and said 70. "I mean, obviously there's a few past champions that play that might not be able to compete. There might be a few first-timers or a few amateurs that won't compete.

Moore the merrier after American wins par-three event

By Tony Jimenez AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - American Ryan Moore won the event that no one wants to win on Wednesday when he triumphed in the annual eve-of-Masters par-three contest. In the 54 years the event has been staged since Sam Snead won the inaugural competition in 1960, no par-three winner has gone on to emerge victorious at the Masters in the same year. Raymond Floyd came within an eyelash of ending the jinx in 1990 but lost to Nick Faldo in a playoff.

Golf: Donaldson wins European monthly award

Welshman Jamie Donaldson, who will play in his second Masters at Augusta National this week, was named Wednesday as the European Tour Golfer of the Month for March. The 38-year-old Donaldson launched his 2014 campaign by finishing tied second in the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa, then rose to the top of The Race to Dubai standings with a top showing in the WGC-Cadillac Championship in the second week of March.

Oosthuizen knows Augusta better after 2013 agony

By Tony Jimenez AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - Louis Oosthuizen learned more about the Augusta National Golf Club from missing the halfway cut last year than he did by coming perilously close to winning the Masters in 2012, the South African said. The 2010 British Open champion failed to qualify for the weekend 12 months ago after rounds of 74 and 76 gave him a six-over-par tally of 150.

Woods missing but not forgotten at the Masters

By Larry Fine AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - Tiger Woods is missing the Masters for the first time in 20 years, but the 38-year-old American still commands attention at Augusta National, site of the year's first major championship. The four-time Masters winner, stuck on 14 majors for the last six years in his quest to surpass the record 18 won by Jack Nicklaus, is sidelined after undergoing surgery for a pinched nerve in his back.

Golf: Thongchai aims for major hit at Masters

Thai veteran Thongchai Jaidee intends to complete a personal major milestone when he makes his third appearance at the Masters starting on Thursday. The three-time Asian Tour number one did not make it through to the weekend rounds in his previous visits to Augusta National Golf Club in 2006 and 2010, but will be hoping it will be third-time lucky in the year's opening major. "I have played in all four rounds of the other three major championships but not at the Masters Tournament," he said.
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