Tiger starts strong with 2-under 70 at the Masters

Matt Wallace during a practice round at Augusta

Matt Wallace during a practice round at Augusta

Rocking the mock neck T-shirt circa 2005, Tiger's quest to regain his old Augusta magic began with a birdie on the par-5 second. DeChambeau came within inches of two hole-outs over the last three holes as he closed with four straight birdies. He would play the remainder of the front side at even par despite three missed putts from within 10 feet. "So I'm off to a good start".

Koepka, a victor in two of the last three majors, ran off four straight birdies in the middle of the back nine by overpowering a soft course.

McIlroy's bid to complete the career Grand Slam with a maiden triumph at Augusta began with a bogey at the opening hole. He narrowly missed his first hole-in-one in competition.

He is not the only player to putt with the flagstick in the cup - allowed under the new Rules of Golf - just the only one to apply science to the decision. Jordan Spieth had to rely on his short game to salvage a 75, matching his highest score at Augusta.

Koepka played a bogey-free round, making birdies on five out of six holes on Nos. He missed previous year recovering from a wrist injury that left him wondering if he would ever play again.

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Concerning to him is the cap on health care spending , which could leave already struggling hospital budgets in even worse shape. Finance officials said that information will come out when the government tables its spending estimates in the next few weeks.

Patrick Reed gets his title defence underway at 3.31pm in the company of Webb Simpson and US Amateur champion Viktor Hovland, but 2015 victor Jordan Spieth will have to wait until the final tee time of 7pm to get his campaign started.

Spain's Jon Rahm and 2013 Masters victor Adam Scott are in a group on three under while four-time champion Tiger Woods is a shot further back on a congested leaderboard.

Justin Rose, who returned to No. 1 in the world and was among the favorites this week because of his recent history at the Masters, opened with a 75.

The 43-year-old Woods was in a good groove early but started to look a bit unsettled after an errant tee shot at the par-four fifth hole where he made his first bogey of the day and then went on to miss several short putts. "It's just very hard out there and every aspect of your game has to be on point".

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