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Golf: Scott, McIlroy launch late charge at Masters

Defending Masters champion Adam Scott and two-time major winner Rory McIlroy teed off Friday at Augusta National chasing Bubba Watson, who fired three birdies in a row to seize command. Watson, the 2012 Masters champion, topped the leaderboard at six under. He birdied the seventh but took his first bogey of the tournament at the ninth, then torched Amen Corner for birdies at the par-3 12th and par-5 13th and added another at 14 to move two shots clear.

Golf: Bubba goes four clear at Masters

Bubba Watson ripped off five birdies in a row from the 12th hole to take a four-shot lead in the second round of the Masters at Augusta National on Friday. The 2012 winner, who stood on eight under with two holes to play, started the day one back of Bill Haas, who led overnight with a 68. He reached the turn in level-par 36, but went on a roll from the par-3 12th in the heart of the feared Amen Corner. Closest to him, four back, was late-starter Haas, who bogeyed the first but got that shot back at the second.

Golf: McIlroy holds off young guns at Masters

Rory McIlroy is used to being the young upstart in golf, so he had a new look at things on Thursday when he opened his sixth Masters campaign. For alongside the 24-year-old Irishman were two players -- both fast rising -- who were younger than himself. Patrick Reed, with three wins under his belt since since August, is 23 and Jordan Spieth, who last year became the first teenager since 1931 to win a PGA Tour event, is just 20. McIlory said it made him look like a "veteran" but he more than held his own against his young challengers.

Golf: Scott off to perfect start at Masters

Adam Scott made a storming start to the Masters on Thursday as he opened his campaign to become the first back-to-back champion at Augusta National since Tiger Woods in 2002. The Australian, who last year became the first player from his country to win the Masters, carded a three-under 69, which could have been even better had he not found water en route to a double-bogey five at the treacherous 12th. It was the best first round by a defending Masters champion since Jose Maria Olazabal shot a 66 in 1995.

Golf: Relaxed Scott soaks in thrills as Masters champ

Just when Adam Scott started soaking in the comfort and joys of defending his Masters title Thursday, his ball started soaking in the waters of Rae's Creek. The first Australian to win at Augusta National fired a three-under par 69, the best opening round by a defending Masters champion since 1995, to stand one stroke off the lead after 18 holes. Scott admits that the early holes of the Masters test his nerves like nothing else in golf, but an ease and relative calm took over after he was announced as a Masters champion.

Golf: Scott off to perfect start at Masters

Adam Scott made a storming start to the Masters on Thursday as he opened his campaign to become the first back-to-back champion at Augusta National since Tiger Woods in 2002. The Australian, who last year became the first player from his country to win the Masters, carded a three-under 69, which could have been even better had he not found water en route to a double-bogey five at the treacherous 12th. It was the best first round by a defending Masters champion since Jose Maria Olazabal shot a 66 in 1995.

Golf: Blixt, Walker two back to lead Masters rookies

Sweden's Jonas Blixt and Americans Kevin Stadler and Jimmy Walker led a record 24 first-time Masters players by firing two-under par 70s to finish two strokes off the lead Thursday. Not since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979 has a Masters rookie won the green jacket on his first try, but a fistful of hopefuls put themselves in the early hunt with a solid start at Augusta National. Blixt, who could become the first Swedish man to win a major title, birdied the third hole and then twice followed bogeys with back-to-back birdies to complete the front nine.

Golf: Blixt, Jimenez share early Masters edge

Sweden's Jonas Blixt, making his Masters debut, and Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez shared the early lead Thursday at the 78th Masters, each standing three-under par at Augusta National. Blixt, who could become the first Swedish man to win a major golf title, opened with two pars and birdied the third before a bogey at the par-3 fourth. Birdies followed at the fifth and par-3 sixth before the Swede took a bogey at the seventh, but he responded with birdies at the the par-5 eighth and par-4 ninth.

Golf: Jimenez leads Masters, Scott in hot pursuit

Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez fired four birdies on the front-nine to seize the early first-round lead Thursday at the 78th Masters with Sweden's Jonas Blixt the low man in the clubhouse. Jimenez, who at 50 would be the oldest major winner in golf history, birdied the par-5 second and added back-to-back birdies at six and seven and another at the ninth to jump atop the leaderboard at four-under par. The only reason Jimenez is in the field of 97 this week at Augusta National is because he finished in 2014's year-end world rankings top 50.

Golf: Jimenez leads Masters, Scott in hot pursuit

Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez fired four birdies on the front-nine to seize the early first-round lead Thursday at the 78th Masters with Sweden's Jonas Blixt the low man in the clubhouse. Jimenez, who at 50 would be the oldest major winner in golf history, birdied the par-5 second and added back-to-back birdies at six and seven and another at the ninth to jump atop the leaderboard at four-under par. The only reason Jimenez is in the field of 97 this week at Augusta National is because he finished in 2014's year-end world rankings top 50.
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