Amateur Guan early surprise in Masters first round

Amateur Guan Tianlang, of China, tees off on the eighth hole during the first round of the Masters.

Amateur Guan Tianlang, of China, tees off on the eighth hole during the first round of the Masters.

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Tianlang Guan's surprising play has been the exception on a difficult day for the Masters' amateur participants. The first four amateurs to post scores all shot between 76 and 78. U.S. Amateur champion Steven Fox was paired with Bubba Watson on Thursday, and was just one shot worse than the defending champion, but that is because Watson shot 75 and Fox fired 76. U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Nathan Smith and U.S. Amateur Public Links champ T.J. Vogel both shot 77. Smith's chances of making the cut for the first time in his fourth Masters appearance seem long. U.S. Amateur runner-up Michael Weaver shot 78 in the first round.

Guan and British Amateur champion Alan Dunbar are still on the course. Guan is surprisingly 2 over through 16 holes, while Dunbar is 11 over through 17 holes.

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