Bill Haas, the son of golfer Jay Haas, holds the lead at the Masters after the first round with a four-under 68 in the second tournament he has played after firing his brother as his caddie.
Adam Scott, the Aussie who won the Masters last year after an epic duel with former Masters winner Angel Cabrera, is one shot back at -3. Scott will attempt to join Nick Faldo, Roger Woods, and Jack Nicklaus as the only back-to-back winners of the Masters.
Bubba Watson, another memorable Masters winner with his winding hook shot on the second playoff hole in 2012, is also at 3-under par. British Open winner and South African Louis Oosthuizen also is a part of the trio at -3.
Seven others, including K.J. Choi and Brett Snedeker, are at -2.
Miguel Angel Jimenez was also out at -4 but faltered on the back nine to finish at -1.
This is the first Masters since 1994 that Tiger Woods has been absent. Woods is recovering from back surgery in Florida and is immobilized until he recovers. Phil Mickelson, Woods’ chief rival, finished at four-over 76.
No rain is expected, which means the greens will be baked by the weekend. That means, most likely, there will be plenty of players in contention on the back nine on Sunday.