Haas leads way at Masters, deja vu for Scott

Thu Apr 10, 2014 5:08pm EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - Former FedExCup champion Bill Haas posted his lowest score in a major to snatch the lead midway through the Masters first round on Thursday while holder Adam Scott experienced a real sense of deja vu.

The 31-year-old Haas, whose great uncle Bob Goalby landed the coveted Green Jacket in 1968, recovered from a bogey five at the opening hole to set the pace with a four-under 68.

Scott missed only four fairways all day but failed to make the most of his birdie opportunities on the greens as he returned a 69 to match his effort at the same stage last year.

Six players shared third place on 70 - Americans Kevin Stadler, Gary Woodland, Brandt Snedeker and Jimmy Walker, South Korean K.J. Choi and Jonas Blixt of Sweden.

World number one Tiger Woods may be missing from this year's lineup following back surgery but there was no shortage of thrills on a sun-kissed day at Augusta National.

Haas led the way after bagging three birdies on each nine including a six-footer at the last that gave him his first three at the 18th at the 17th career attempt.

The pin at the final hole was typical of the flag positions around the course, tucked in on the corner of the putting surface.

"Birdying 18 was a huge bonus," the 2011 FedExCup winner told reporters at the opening major championship of the year. "I made some nice putts today, a couple of 20-footers, and that can certainly make a difference.   Continued...

U.S. golfer Bill Haas watches his tee shot on the 17th hole during the first round of the Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia April 10, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Blake