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Masters: Poulter, Hoffman grab early lead

England golfer Poulter birdies two of first three holes at 79th Masters

Augusta: England's Ian Poulter, seeking his first major title, birdied two of the first three holes yesterday to grab a share of the early lead at the 79th Masters.

Ian Poulter walks to the first green during Round 1 of the 2015 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club yesterday. Pics/AFP
Ian Poulter walks to the first green during Round 1 of the 2015 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club yesterday. Pics/AFP 

Poulter birdied the par-5 second and par-3 third to stand on two-under in the opening round at Augusta National alongside Charley Hoffman, a 38-year-old American who ended a five-year PGA win drought last November.

Hoffman made back-to-back birdies at the second and third holes, stumbled with a bogey at the par-3 fourth but birdied the par-4 fifth and parred his way to the turn.

Charley Hoffman tees off in the 9th hole during Round 1
Charley Hoffman tees off in the 9th hole during Round 1

Hoffman won the PGA Mayakoba Classic in the start of the 2014-15 campaign to snap a 109-start win drought.

His other wins came at the 2007 Bob Hope Classic and 2010 Deutsche Bank.

He finished joint 27th in 2011 in his only prior Masters. Poulter, 39, has not won since the 2012 HSBC Champions. His best Masters finish was seventh in 2012.

Lahiri in 36th spot
Meanwhile, India's Anirban Lahiri was in 36th position on his Masters debut at the time of going to the press.

India's Anirban Lahiri tees off on the seventh hole during  Round 1 of the Augusta Masters yesterday. Pic: AP/PTI
India's Anirban Lahiri tees off on the seventh hole during Round 1 of the Augusta Masters yesterday. Pic: AP/PTI 

Lahiri was at par after the notorious 9th hole at Augusta.

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