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Adam Scott double bogeys after cheers

A MATCH: Rory McIlroy, right, says he told tennis-player fiancee Caroline Wozniacki to dye her hair to “match the azaleas.”

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A MATCH: Rory McIlroy, right, says he told tennis-player fiancee Caroline Wozniacki to dye her hair to “match the azaleas.”

AUGUSTA, Ga. — The only wart on an otherwise clean card for defending Masters champion Adam Scott in the first round was double bogey at No. 12, where he hit it in the water.

Scott didn't make double bogey during all 72 holes last year.

Scott, tied for second after 3-under 69, said he might have lost focus for a bit Thursday.

"I just received the most incredible ovation as I came to the 12th tee and maybe got caught up in it a little bit," he said.

The memory of that ovation will stick with him forever, he said.

"It was great, the level of respect that everyone has for this golf tournament and what happens here," he said.

Mickelson conflicted: After an odd journey to 4-over 76, matching his worst opening round at the Masters, Phil Mickelson seemed conflicted. It's not that his game was off.

"I actually played well," he said. "I know it's hard to say that."

But the three-time winner said his mental focus wasn't sharp enough, with lazy lapses in judgment contributing to triple bogey on the par-4 seventh, followed a few hours later by a costly double bogey on the par-5 15th.

Having played only 20 rounds of competitive golf since January, Mickelson wondered whether his mental edge needed sharpening, and his errors Thursday provided evidence it does.

"That's probably a sign right there, making those kinds of mistakes," he said. "When I'm competitively sharp, those kinds of mistakes you just don't make. You don't throw those shots away out here.

"I've got a lot of work to do (today) just to make the cut. "I've got some issues."

They are experienced: In a tournament packed with a bunch of young newcomers, the 50-and-over crowd made a bit of a stand in the first round.

Miguel Angel Jimenez, 50, was leading for a time before stumbling on the back nine. Fred Couples, 54, the 1992 Masters champion, was on the leader­board before tying Jimenez with 1-under 71 that left both three shots off the lead.

Two-time Masters champion Bernard Langer, 56, shot par in his 31st Masters.

"A 72 is not that shabby," he said.

Power still counts, but sometimes the older players can make up for it by knowing where to put the ball and being crafty.

"It's hard for anyone. There are a lot of young guys that can hit the ball a long ways," said Jimenez, who was 4 under and in the lead before making bogey on No. 11 and double on 12 after hitting it in the water. "I don't hit the ball that far, but I hit it and it goes straight to the flag, you know. It's nice to see that I'm being competitive with all the guys."

Odds and ends: Each of the past eight winners were within four shots of the lead after the first round. … Each of the past six winners broke 70 in the opening round. … The four rounds in the 60s were the fewest for an opening round since 2007. … Of the 19 golfers under par only Scott, Couples, Rory McIlroy, Louis Oosthuizen and Bubba Watson have major wins.

Information from ESPN and was used in this report.

Adam Scott double bogeys after cheers 04/10/14 [Last modified: Thursday, April 10, 2014 10:53pm]
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