AUGUSTA, Ga. --Marc Leishman, backed by four birdies in a row, took the clubhouse lead at the Masters Tournament on Thursday afternoon with a 6-under 66.
Leishman, from Australia, had a bogey on the first hole but none after that. He birdied No. 10 and Nos. 13-16 to surge past early clubhouse leader David Lynn and into the lead.
Tiger Woods finished his opening round four shots off the pace, with a 2-under 72. Defending champion Bubba Watson opened with 3-over 75. His ho-hum round included just one birdie at the par-5 second hole. Watson three-putted three greens en route to 33 total putts.
Among those still on the course in the late afternoon, Sergio Garcia had birdied five of the first 10 holes to shoot up the leaderboard.
Lynn saved par with a 12-foot putt on the final hole to post an opening 4-under-par 68. The Masters rookie from England posted six birdies -- three on each side. Lynn birdied the first two legs of Amen Corner (Nos. 11 and 12) before adding a birdie at the par-5 15th. A bogey at No. 17 dropped him to 4-under.
Rickie Fowler and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano later joined Lynn at 4-under.
Jim Furyk and Zach Johnson finished at 3-under, while Lee Westwood and David Toms joined Woods among a large group of early finishers at 2-under.
One of the more impressive rounds of the day occurred off the leaderboard, as 14-year-old Tianlang Guan birdied 18 to finish with a 1-over 73.
Meanwhile, Ted Potter Jr. is doing his part to keep alive the Par-3 jinx. After winning the nine-hole contest Wednesday, Potter opened the first round with 76.
Potter, a Masters rookie, moved to 1-over on his round after posting eagle at No. 15. He followed two holes later with a triple-bogey 7 at No. 17 to fall off the pace.
Since the Par-3 Contest began in 1960, no winner of the event has ever gone on to win the Masters Tournament in the same year.