- ‘Top Gun’ for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy’s approval
- Bill Clinton to endorse Charlie Rangel for re-election
- Pfc. Bradley Manning is now Pfc. Chelsea Manning: Court says so
- Secret base U.S. special forces used to train Libyans now under terrorist control: report
- 9th suspect in N.C. kidnapping turns self in to FBI
- L.A. sheriff admits to testing flyover spy program without notifying residents
- Foreign minister vows response if Russians are attacked in Ukraine
- Robert Griffin III to drive pace car before Richmond NASCAR race
- Material on Australian shore examined in jet hunt
- Bomb, shooting in Egypt kills 2 police officers
Lynn leads at Augusta, Woods off to strong start
AUGUSTA, GA. (AP) - Unheralded David Lynn was contending again at a major championship. Jamie Donaldson turned in a rare ace at the sixth hole. And Tiger Woods? He was right in the mix for a fifth green jacket, just as everyone expected.
The Masters got off to quite a start Thursday.
Lynn, a 39-year-old Englishman, shot a 4-under 68 for the clubhouse lead at Augusta National, showing his runner-up finish in last year’s PGA Championship was no fluke.
Under gray skies with a growing chance of rain, Lynn birdied four of five holes around the turn and rolled in a testy 15-foot putt at the final hole to save par. It is his first Masters appearance, but he hardly looked like a rookie.
“It’s about playing the percentages,” he said. “When I was on the ninth, I turned to my caddie and said, `We’re leading the Masters.’ He just looked at me and smiled. I told him, `I’d rather be leading it Sunday afternoon.’ But it’s not a bad thing to see your name up there leading the Masters. That’s always something I can look back on.”
Lynn was still talking about his round in the media center when another name surged to the top of the board. Marc Leishman of Australia ripped off four straight birdies on the back side and was at 6 under with two holes to play.
Donaldson turned in the shot of the day, acing the 180-yard sixth for the 24th hole-in-one in Masters history. He is only the fifth player to make a 1 at the hole known as Juniper, with its towering tee box and a green at the bottom of the hill. Donaldson was the first to do it since Chris DiMarco in 2004.
Of course, most eyes were on Woods, the overwhelming favorite coming into the tournament. He has already won three times this year and reclaimed his No. 1 spot in the world rankings.
But Woods hasn’t captured a major since 2008, and it’s been eight long years since he claimed his fourth green jacket at Augusta. He is still four majors shy of tying Jack Nicklaus’ record 18 championships _ a mark that becomes a little more daunting each time the 37-year-old Woods fails to win one of golf’s biggest events.
Maybe this will be the week he breaks the longest major-less drought of his career. Woods made the turn with a 2-under 34, putting himself solidly in contention in the early going.
“I feel comfortable with every aspect of my game,” Woods said. “I feel that I’ve improved and I’ve gotten more consistent, and I think the wins show that.”
Lynn is feeling good about the way things are going, too. In just the second major appearance of his largely overlooked career, he finished second behind Rory McIlroy at Kiawah Island.
He moved from the European to the American tour this year, a change that seems to have rejuvenated his passion for the game.
“It’s given me a second wind,” Lynn said. “Everything is new. I’m going to different places every week, different courses. It’s like I’ve started my career again almost.”
About three hours before Woods teed off, the tournament began with ceremonial shots from three of golf’s greatest players _ 83-year-old Arnold Palmer, 77-year-old Gary Player and the 73-year-old Nicklaus.
Feds who send arms against ranch families betray American values
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- CARSON: When government looks more like foe than friend
- Pentagon plans to replace flight crews with 'full-time' robots
- Georgia governor signs bill expanding gun rights
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
- Professor apologizes after blasting Republicans in class
- Justice Dept.'s new clemency guidelines: Crack offenders most obvious candidates
- Ukraine claims torture by pro-Russian forces on the heels of Biden's stern warning to Moscow
- Ministry of Truth: SCOTUS skeptical of law to police campaign 'lies'
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014