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Brit pack demand more after positive starts

ESPN staff
April 11, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Justin Rose was among a number of English players to start well © Getty Images
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ESPN will be providing live commentary during all four days of the Masters from Augusta National - along with all the news, views and opinion when it gets underway on Thursday.

Justin Rose and Lee Westwood were both in high spirits after beginning the Masters with matching rounds of 70 on Thursday.

While compatriot Ian Poulter disappointed in decent scoring conditions for the first round at Augusta National, Rose and Westwood both finished two-under - four shots behind runaway early leader Marc Leishman.

With Luke Donald a shot further back at one-under, and relatively unheralded David Lynn two shots ahead after a fine debut performance of 66, a number of English players are in contention with three rounds remaining.

Not that any of them are getting ahead of themselves just yet.

"You can never win it on day one, you can only lose it," Rose noted afterwards. "I didn't really make anything until the 18th, when I knocked in a nice 15-foot putt for par, which makes lunch taste good, really."

Westwood, who began his day with a six at the par-four first, was similarly restrained: "It's a good first round, I played solidly. The double-bogey wasn't the ideal start, but I did manage one in the US Open last year, that sprang to mind, and I fought my way back to have a chance. So there was no panic, really."

Lynn was perhaps the fairytale story of the day, the Wigan native topping the leaderboards for a while before eventually finishing four-under par. In the field after finishing second at last year's US PGA Championship, the 39-year-old is enjoying this new phase of his career.

"When I'm on my game I know I can compete on this sort of level," Lynn said. "What happened at Kiawah [Island, at the US PGA] confirmed that to myself. It gave me extra belief. Although McIlroy ran away with it, I was in an environment that I had not been in before and it gives you confidence."

He added: "It's not a bad thing to see your name up there leading the Masters. That's always something I can look back on."

"It is like I have started my career again. I'm enjoying what the PGA Tour has to offer. It has definitely given me a new lease of life."

Poulter, meanwhile, blamed his driving for his torrid start.

"Can't be disappointed with that round, I drove it so bad," he tweeted. "Four fairways in regulation when they are 40 yards wide. Horrific day. Sorry folks no excuse."

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