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Sandy Lyle shoots 77 on 'tough' day

Sandy Lyle

‘It’s not gone unnoticed’, said Colin Montgomerie, as two Saltires popped up briefly on the Masters leaderboard early on this morning.

The only two Scots in the field, Russell Knox and Sandy Lyle, who are being outdone by their English counterparts who have a record 11 players in the field – including the defending champion, started strong but faded on a windy opening day at Augusta National.

Lyle, sporting a snood to keep out the Georgia chills, fired a five-over 77, which included a sterling front nine of level 36. But he came home in 41, giving himself much to do in order to avoid a third missed cut in three years.

“I played very good for the first nine,” said Lyle. “I played quite tidy golf and only had one birdie. I thought I would get through Amen corner and maybe birdie 13 I would be one-under or level and very happy. It just frittered away.

“I had sloppy tee shots, and was out of position a few times. I took a penalty on 13 because I was out of position in the Azaleas on the left. I hardly ever go there and I made six and I was blocked out on 14. So that was another shot gone and 16 I put it back of the green on the right which you just don’t do.”

On a day that some of the toughest weather conditions at a Masters in recent years, the 59-year-old said he managed to just hang in there.

“There was sand blowing in the bunkers on 18, sand swirling around, you have to be so accurate with your landing areas so you get a bit negative. It is doable and someone will be three or four under at the end of the day. There have been some days when it has been windy here before and dry. That’s no fun at all.

“At least we’ve had the forgiveness in the greens. It’s a tough day. You are just hanging in there.”

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