Thursday, 11 April 2019
Honorary starters and Masters champions Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus   (Getty Images)
Honorary starters and Masters champions Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus (Getty Images)

Gary Player was able to maintain bragging rights after joining Jack Nicklaus in getting the 83rd Masters Tournament under way on Thursday.

Player and Nicklaus continued their role as honorary starters by each hitting a tee shot on the opening hole, with 83-year-old Player producing the longest - and most accurate - drive by around 30 yards from 79-year-old Nicklaus.

With the formalities out of the way, American Andrew Landry got the tournament proper under way, with compatriot Adam Long and Canada's Corey Conners making up the first group.

Conners came through a play-off to qualify for last week's Valero Texas Open and went on to win his first PGA Tour title in San Antonio to claim the final place in the 87-man field at Augusta National.

Former world number one Tiger Woods was due out at 11.04 local time alongside China's Li Haotong and Spain's Jon Rahm, with Rory McIlroy in the following group 11 minutes later with last year's runner-up Rickie Fowler and Australian Cameron Smith.

McIlroy needs to win the Masters to complete the career grand slam while Woods - who is one of five members of golf's most elite club - is seeking a first major since the 2008 US Open Championship.

Patrick Reed gets his title defence under way at 10.31 local time in the company of Webb Simpson and US Amateur champion Viktor Hovland, the first Norwegian to play in The Masters.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1WOODS, TigerUSA18-13
T2JOHNSON, DustinUSA18-12
T2KOEPKA, BrooksUSA18-12
T5DAY, JasonAUS18-11

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