Notes: Scott’s late finish, Cabrera’s title defense

Defending champion Angel Cabrera shot 73 in the first round of the Masters on Thursday.

Defending champion Angel Cabrera shot 73 in the first round of the Masters on Thursday.

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Before we pull the curtain down on Round 1 of the 2010 Masters, here’s a little of this, and some of that:

• If it were the U.S. Open, British Open, or PGA Championship, you’d probably not know any of the players in the last pairing of the day. But at the Masters, it’s different.

“That’s part of the uniqueness of the tournament,” Adam Scott said. “But it’s a weird tee time.”

Scott, surely a notable world-class player, went off in the final pairing at 1:53 p.m. Ricky Barnes and David Duval were his playing competitors, and given that it was a “long, slow day,” they didn’t finish until 7:30. Dusk had settled in, many of the patrons had left, and it was a bit surreal.

Yet the young Aussie conceded, “it’s a tee time I could get used to playing in.”

That’s because it would mean he’s in contention, something he might have a chance for now that he’s posted his first-ever sub-70 round.

“I was thinking about that at 17,” Scott said with a smile. He knew in 28 previous rounds at Augusta National he had never been lower than 70. But with a 5-foot save at 17 and a deft up-and-down from the front of the 18th green, Scott shot 69.

• For the day, there were 31 sub-par scores and 16 players finished in the 60s. The field average was 73.145.

• A total of nine eagles were made, two by Tiger Woods (Nos. 8 and 15). Steve Marino and John Rollins eagled the second; Ricky Barnes, Phil Mickelson, and Anthony Kim did the honors at No. 13; and at 15, Kenny Perry and Ben Crane matched Woods.

• Defending champ Angel Cabrera turned in 3-under 33 and seemed poised for a solid start. But he made a double bogey at the par-5 13th and came home in 40 to settle into a tie for 45th at 73.

• The last time Sandy Lyle broke 70 in a Masters was 1992. The last time he did it in the first round was . . . well, never. In his previous 28 trips here, the Scotsman had never done better than 71 for the opening trip, so his stunning 69 shatters that. “There were a lot of good shots out there,” said the 1988 champion, now 52 years old. “That was about as good as I probably could have done.”

• Tom Watson was the only player to go bogey-free, and only one player failed to make a birdie: Justin Leonard. He shot 3-over 75.

• For the record, Franceso was low Molinari, shooting 2-under 70. Brother Edoardo posted 76.

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