Johnson plans to play it safe on eve of Masters

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Sergio Garcia's title defence effectively came to an embarrassing end as he took an fantastic 13 shots to play the 15th hole in the opening round of the Masters. He has been the dominant player of his generation and, perhaps, that new-found bond with Mickelson best exemplifies the maturity of the relationship that exists. Honestly, under the bright sun and blue sky, the resourcefulness of the man dressed in black was a hell of a thing to see.

"I could have easily let the round slip away from me, but I got it back", he said, brimming with that bravado of old. "But this is my best start in a few years".

"I'm just trying to make you guys realize what I'm feeling, what I'm going through".

One of the appeals of The Masters Tournament is the amount of tradition the tournament carries.

The cheers turned to gasps as Finau's ankle dislocated, sending him to the hospital for treatment and an MRI.

Tiger showed he's as focused as ever, but it's clear that he's enjoying the limelight more than in years past.

And he played great, opening with a 68 despite a short par putt that he missed on the 14th hole.

"I place a lot of importance on what happened here in 2011", said McIlroy, who arrives in Augusta riding the momentum from a victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

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With firmer greens, tougher pin placements and just enough wind to make approach shots more challenging, it could be hard for anyone to make a run up the leaderboard.

Spain's Sergio Garcia endured a nightmare start in his bid to join Woods, Nick Faldo and Jack Nicklaus as the only players to successfully defend the Masters crown.

He says that he finally won a major when he stopped thinking that he had to, beating Justin Rose in a playoff at Augusta previous year.

He matched the highest single-hole score in Masters history. "He made golf cool and so it's awesome to be out here watching him for the first time". "He's been the biggest needle-mover in the game, and it's going to be tough for anyone to come close to that", said world number eight Rickie Fowler. So was Marc Leishman, who played in the group with Woods and Tommy Fleetwood and led most of the day until a chip from behind the 15th green came out too strong and didn't stop rolling until it was headed down the bank and into the water, leading to double bogey. He was tied for 29th.

Somehow, some way, he entered the week as the betting favorite to set the Masters' champions dinner menu next spring.

In one sense, he was happy to be playing.

The American is highly unlikely to attempt the daring feat when the tournament gets under way on Thursday, with the water proving his nemesis two years ago.

"To be honest, I'm in complete shock", she said while wiping away tears. We'll see if he gets back to where he was. I went from a person who had a hard time getting up, walking around, sitting down, anything, to now swinging the club 129 [miles per hour].

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