The Masters: Robert MacIntyre pleased with efforts on tough first day

Robert Mac Intyre Masters Round 1

A bogey at the last may give dinner tonight a slightly sour taste but Robert MacIntyre was generally delighted with his start to The Masters.

Playing alongside 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and current amateur champ Laird Shepherd, Scotland’s top ranked male pro carded a one-over 73 in what were tough, blustery conditions at Augusta National.

The Oban man is playing in his only second Masters, having tied for 12th on his debut last year.

Today’s effort gives the 25-year-old a superb chance at continuing his streak of making the cut in every major he has ever played and perhaps even contending over the weekend.

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"I actually felt like I only hit two bad shots today," said MacIntyre. "The tee shot off nine and the second  into 18. So, yeah, there are many positives to take from today but some work to be done.

"I made a lot of birdies here last year and, after ten or 11, I was like, 'You've only made one birdie today.' So it was about staying patient and realising that they're there. Every hole is a birdie opportunity. It's just about taking the chances when they come. I stuck to it, stayed calm and managed to pick up a few coming in."

An early birdie at the par-5 second had MacIntyre one-under-par, a score he maintained throughout the front-nine. He could have made a further gain at the eighth had it not been for a short miss with the putter.

Making the turn at one-under, the Scot was only two shots of the lead but dropped his first shot of the day at the par-4 tenth after getting him short-sided in the greenside bunker.

He dropped two more at the 11th when an aggressive approach shot took a wicked bounce from the edge of the green and found the water.

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Pars at 12, 13 and 14 steadied the ship before birdies at 15 and 16 got him back to level-par. He made a superb par save from the trees at 17 and was in a good position to attack the 18th green from the middle of the fairway, only for a slack approach to leave him facing a tricky up-and-down from the bunker.

After his par putt slipped by, he tapped in for a bogey and a round of 73, six shots off the early pace set by South Korea's Sungjae Im.

Irrespective of how this week finishes, MacIntyre will be taking away special memories from Augusta National.

He described having his dad, Dougie, caddie for him in yesterday's Par-3 Contest as "the most special thing" he has ever done.

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"It's like I said on my social media post, no matter what else I do in my career, I'll always be able to look back on that," he said. "I mean, my dad got to hit a shot at Augusta National. Fair enough, it didn't quite go to plan but It doesn't get much more special than that."

Meanwhile, the other Scot in the field, Sandy Lyle, carded a ten-over 82 to prop up the leaderboard. He did salvage some pride, though, with a chip-in birdie at the last.

MacIntyre will get back under way tomorrow at 1:33pm (UK time), with Lyle first off in round two at 1:00pm.

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