Rory McIlroy starts off right in quest for Masters history

Garcia's hopes of successfully defending his title were in tatters after his meltdown at Augusta National.

Tiger Woods labelled his Masters return after an absence of two years as "awesome", but his performance fell well short of that lofty description.

He was the first since 1976 to hold the solo lead after all four rounds and take home the green jacket.

Spieth, who led by two shots after the first round, made a double-bogey at the first and a bogey at the second and seventh holes to reach the turn at four-over 40 on a tough scoring day at windy Augusta National.

Yes, it was an unusually hard day of scoring with some devious hole locations, and swirling, breezy conditions. He played in the group ahead of Spieth, and McIlroy was scratching our key par saves just to stay in range.

Woods failed to birdie any of the par 5s.

Reed's highlights included a 26-foot birdie putt at one, a 13-foot birdie putt at seven, a 14-footer at nine and an 18-footer at 13.

It only took two holes to see the 24-year-old Dallas native wasn't going to match that terrific effort.

"I hit my irons bad today", Woods said. "I'm not in control of my own destiny here".

"I kept myself out of trouble and allowed my putter to do the work", Reed said. Simple as that. I felt like I hit a lot of good shots and unfortunately the ball just didn't want to stop. Made a couple more birdies, but I feel like I could have shot another round in the 60s. He also knows it could have been worse, especially after dumping a 9-iron into Rae's Creek on the par-3 12th hole and having to make a 15-foot putt for bogey and avoid falling to 4-over par.

Mickelson shot 79, his highest score ever in a Masters round, to finish at 5 over, just within the cut line.

Woods knows he needs a "special weekend" and some help to get back in contention.

"Not getting questions on a day like today (such as) when do you feel like you're going to get your first major, or do you feel like you're one of the best players without a major, so I was glad to get that over with as quick as I could", said Thomas.

The good news for Woods is that there is a Saturday after flirting with the cut line before sliding in with one stroke to spare. That was more than enough to atone for the few times he got out of position, and his 6-under 66 put him atop the leaderboard for the first time in a major. "It was quite insane, all the emotions that I dealt with overnight, but I was more than ecstatic to just be walking to that first tee and be playing in my first Masters".

"I played in a major championship again", he said.

"The more you play here, the more comfortable you get around this golf course". I talked to him last weekend.

"Coming into last year obviously I was playing very well and it was very disappointing not to be able to play, but it was a year ago, so a lot of things have happened since then", Johnson said during his media conference.

  • Joanne Flowers