AUGUSTA, Ga. One of the greatest traditions in sports is the ceremonial first tee shots, Thursday morning at The Masters. Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Gary Player have combined to win 34 major championships, and despite their advanced ages, all three looked like they should keep playing at 7:50 am this morning. Usually one of the three is disappointed with their tee shot, but not today. All three of them hit it on the screws, right down the center of the fairway. What an incredible way to start a golf tournament.
Meanwhile, David Lynn and Marc Leishman got off to tremendous starts. Lynn, who finished 2nd at last year's PGA Championship in Kiawah Island, fired a 68 in his first ever round at Augusta National. Leishman currently has the round of the day with a 66. He qualified for the event by winning last year's Traveler's Championship in Hartford and didn't make the cut in his only other Masters start. Again, two improbable players off to great starts.
But the most unlikely story might be provided by 14 year old Asian Amateur Tianlang Guan. He became the youngest player in Masters history by two years, but showed no signs of nerves on the first tee. Guan striped a 290 yard drive right down the middle of the fairway. Guan is paired with 19 year old Matteo Manassero and 61 year old Ben Crenshaw. After Guan's opening tee shot, Crenshaw turned to his caddie and said "remarkable." Indeed.
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