News for Thursday, April 5, 2012

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Behind the first-round numbers at the Masters

Now for a little of this and a dash of that regarding numbers from the opening round of the Masters on Thursday.

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Babineau: Top guns stumble on Day 1

Jeff Babineau: The game's top guns - Mickelson, Woods, McIlroy and Donald - all stumbled out of the gate. That and other observations from Thursday at Augusta National . . .

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Vegas likes Westwood's chances in Masters

Englishman Lee Westwood, the first-round leader at the Masters, has been installed by Las Vegas oddsmakers as the favorite.

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Dufner quickly becoming a sure bet on Tour

Jim McCabe: Jason Dufner put in plenty of work ahead of the Masters, and it paid off in a major way with a 3-under 69 that left him two shots off the lead.

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5 Things: Westwood takes one-shot lead

5 Things: Lee Westwood overcame tough hole locations to take a one-shot lead into the second round, while Rory McIlroy made some late noise.

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Masters Tracker: Round 1 from Augusta

It's Thursday at Augusta National and Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player have officially kicked off the tournament. Stay up-to-date with news at Augusta with our Masters Tracker.

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Rude: Tiger escapes a 'loose' first round

Jeff Rude: Tiger Woods hit the ball all over the course on Thursday, and somehow managed to shoot 72. That 'might have won him the tournament,' says a certain former coach.

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Notes: Jimenez succeeds in Tiger's shadow

Miguel Angel Jimenez shines in Tiger's shadow, while early-week storms created a soggy Augusta National, but the greens are holding off the low scores some players predicted. Notes

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Stenson's 18th a tale of Augusta horror

Augusta National's 18th hole was a nightmarish experience for Henrik Stenson in Round 1.

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The annual Achie Awards: Masters Round 1

Phil Mickelson was the recipient of two first-round awards from James Achenbach. One was admirable, the other dubious.

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Amateur hour: Cantlay, Matsuyama impress

Patrick Cantlay and Hideki Matsuyama are from opposite ends of the world, but on Thursday, they both impressed the world that is the Masters. Sean Martin

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Lawrie posts two eagles in opening round

Despite a recent bout of bronchitis, Paul Lawrie, in his first Masters appearance since 2004, jumped into the early mix with two eagles during Thursday's opening round.

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Clark shakes off the rust with 73 at Augusta

Augusta National is hardly the place to bring a rusty game, but on a wet Masters Thursday, Tim Clark was happy to be in the field. Jim McCabe explains why an opening 73 made Clark smile.

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Rater's notebook: Conestoga Golf Club

Conestoga turns stark desert terrain into strategic test. Rater's notebook

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Notebook: Cowboys must rustle up strong finish

Because of the .500 rule in men's golf, Sean Einhaus and his Oklahoma State teammates are in jeopardy of missing NCAA postseason. College notebook

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O'Meara WDs with ailing back, ribs

Mark O’Meara, the 1998 Masters champion, withdrew from the 76th Masters with an injury to his back and ribs.

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Achenbach: Big Three recapture Masters glory

James Achenbach: The Big Three not only kickstarted the Masters on Thursday but continue to recapture true Masters glory.

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Augusta’s greens: Secrets to magic carpet ride

Bradley Klein: The rain has taken some of the bite out of Augusta National’s notoriously tricky greens. But the course's SubAir equipment might bring some of that bite back.

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Video: Foley talks Tiger, winning, Masters

Instructor Sean Foley has had a great two months, with three of his clients winning - Tiger Woods, Hunter Mahan and Justin Rose. An interview with the game's hottest teacher . . .