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Tiger Woods upbeat after opening round at Masters

13 April 2019

Englishman Ian Poulter and Italy's Francesco Molinari charged into the midway second-round lead at the Masters on Friday after overnight pacesetters Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka endured turbulent outward nines. Brooks Koepka is all about his routine.

The 28-year-old Koepka also had an impressive finish on Thursday.

Five-time major victor Phil Mickelson finished with five birdies in seven for a five-under 67 - his lowest opening round since he won in 2010.

Jason Day finished a shot back at two-under.

Mickelson found some momentum after shots in the pine trees at No. 10 and in the water on No. 11, both leading to bogey when he thought it could have been worse. "I drove it well, hit some good iron shots, and speed was good on the greens", Woods said. It was a good start for Woods in his quest to end 11 years without a major, and he was atop the leaderboard briefly until a late bogey. "It was the other way around, because I made two great bogeys that should have and could have been doubles", Mickelson said.

"I felt like I played well and I did all the things I needed to do today to post a good number", said Woods, despite missed chances from inside 10 feet that cost him on the front nine.

Rory McIlroy, who arrived at the year's first major as golf's hottest player, produced a tepid effort in the first round with a 73 and will be in last group to tee off as he continues his bid for a Green Jacket to complete a career grand slam. "I'm just dialed in and I'm focused the entire week".

He nabbed the first of his six birdies at the par-five second to make the turn at one-under.

"I just made too many mistakes".

Plenty of big names are chasing DeChambeau and Koepka. "I guess I should have pulled the flagstick".

Scott was treading water at even par through 14 holes but surged up the leaderboard to two under courtesy of birdies at the par-5 15th, the hard par-4 17th and the last hole.

The 43-year-old Woods was in a good groove 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. Defending champion Patrick Reed is grouped with former U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson and reigning U.S. Amateur Champion Viktor Hovland. The top-five on the leaderboard all begin their rounds in the morning and he could find himself a fair way back by the time he begins his round.

Tiger Woods upbeat after opening round at Masters