Hoffman, McGirt lead Masters heading into 2nd round

Dustin Johnson hits to the 11th hole during a practice round for the Masters golf tournament Wednesday

Dustin Johnson hits to the 11th hole during a practice round for the Masters golf tournament Wednesday

It's too tricky. Even when it's dry you still get mud balls in the middle of the fairway. Johnson joins Tiger Woods as the only other No. 1-ranked player in the world not to play The Masters. "I just kept plodding away", said Westwood.

Johnson agonized for 24 hours before pulling out after a serious fall on the eve of the tournament left him in pain from a lower back injury. He was in his rental home Wednesday when he went to move his vehicle in a downpour because his 2-year-old son was on his way back from day care. Wearing only socks, he slipped on a three-step staircase and landed on his left side, also hurting his elbow.

"Last night, it was ice, heat, ice - I was up pretty much all night trying to get it ready for today", Johnson said. "It sucks, really bad".

Hoffman didn't have reason to believe he would be one of them.

Undeterred by four bogeys in a miserable seven-hole stretch mid-round, he birdied the par-three 16th, taking advantage of the generous pin location to use the green's slope as his ball trickled down to stop three feet from the hole. "There wasn't, I wouldn't say, a ton of pressure today", he said.

Hoffman, with one top-10 finish this year, put together a run of four birdies over the back nine to open an impressive lead over fellow American William McGirt.

Meanwhile, Phil Mickelson, trying to become the oldest champion in Masters history, eagled the second hole on the way to a 1-under 71, a promising start given the windy conditions.

"Obviously, going to sleep on the lead at a major championship here at Augusta National is not going to be the easiest thing but I look forward to the challenge the next three days". They shot 1-under 71s with the winds blowing heavily throughout the opening round Thursday. You didn't want to go over the green. He made a quadruple-bogey 9 and shot 75.

IPL: Mumbai Indians set target of 185 against Pune Supergiant
Kieron Pollard was dismissed for 27 (17 balls; 3x4; 1x6) in the penultimate over by Stokes for the bowler's first IPL wicket. Then came the wickets which stopped the MI momentum a little bit, with Tahir picking up three wickets in two overs.

"If you catch the wrong gust at the wrong time, then you look stupid, like I did on 12", Thomas Pieters said.

"I just need to go out tomorrow and keep doing what I am doing". Jason Day of Australia and Spieth, the world's No. 3 and 6 players, respectively, shot 75s, while Hideki Matsuyama of Japan, the world No. 4, struggled to a 76 and Henrik Stenson of Sweden, No. 5 in the world, carded a 77.

Hoffman, 40, a four-time victor on the PGA Tour who has wins in each of the past two seasons, missed five cuts in his first eight tournaments this year.

Australian chances at Augusta were set back heavily on a day when only 11 players broke par.

Perhaps it will be Hoffman, who is making his fourth Masters appearance and third straight.

But birdies on the 13th, 15th and 16th hauled him up the leaderboard.

Garcia closed strong, birdieing 17 and sticking his approach at 18 to within a few feet before missing the birdie putt.

Russell Henley managed to sneak into the 2017 Masters Tournament with a final-round 65 to win the Houston Open on Sunday.

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