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The Masters: McIlroy Starts Off With 7-Under 65

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy has been on the majors watch-list for a while now, and the exciting youngster seems ready to jump into the spotlight. McIlroy made a statement in his first round of 2011’s Masters, posting a bogey-free 65, and has jumped out to an early lead at Augusta. McIlroy started off strong, knocking down birdies on holes two, three and four.

Tiger Woods has had back nine with peaks and valleys so far, even though he’s just in the middle of Amen Corner. Woods has returned to 1-under par with two birdies on holes 13 and 14 after bogeying 10 and 11. Phil Mickelson, many people’s favorites to win after taking last week’s Shell Houston Open, is underway, and is even par through three holes.

Also impressive in his first round has been Y.E. Yang, the surprise 2009 PGA Championship winner who is 4-under through nine holes. Aside from McIlroy, others who are finished with solid rounds are Ross Fisher and Brandt Snedeker at 3-under, while Matt Kuchar and a surprising Sergio Garcia are both at 4-under with a few holes still to play.