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Singh makes solid Augusta debut
The first player from India to compete at the Masters cards an even first round.
Last Modified: 06 Apr 2007 09:34 GMT

Jeev Milkha Singh became the first Indian player to compete at a Masters tournament [EPA]

Jeev Milkha Singh, India's first Masters competitor, overcame early nerves to make a solid debut when he finished his first round with an even-par 72, three behind leaders Justin Rose of Britain and American Brett Wetterich, at Augusta National on Thursday.
Singh, who was on top of the leaderboard at the turn with three under, became the first Indian to qualify for the opening major of the year after winning four titles on three separate tours and topping the Asian Order of Merit in 2006.

"I was a little nervous on the first tee," Singh told reporters.

"On the front nine I holed a lot of putts.

"On the back nine I didn't make too many putts. But I'm pretty happy with the way I played my first round in Augusta."

The 35-year-old was not discouraged despite bogeys on 10, 11 and 18 pushing him down to joint 10th place after the first round.

"It is a dream come true for me," he said.

"When I was growing up I always wanted to play the Masters Tournament. I've done it today."

Singh said his Masters debut would be closely followed back home.

"I think it is big in India because golf is the fastest growing sport in the country," he said.

"Cricket is the number one sport, but me performing well and other players doing well on other tours will be good for golf."

Woods rues late bogeys

Tiger Woods had an up and down first round at
Augusta on Thursday [EPA]
Meanwhile, four-time Masters champion Tiger Woods had a frustrating end to his round after being in good position early in the day.

Woods bogeyed his last two holes for a one-over-par 73 that left him four shots adrift of the lead after a difficult day of dry, fast conditions.

"I just wanted to hang in there and shoot an under-par round, just keep grinding along," Woods told reporters.

"All I had to do was play the last two holes in even par. Bingo, bingo, done."

However Woods hit his last two tee shots into the rough with no chance of reaching the greens, and needed two putts from 2.5 metres on the last to end his day on a sour note.

"I threw away a good round of golf.

"You're right there and all of a sudden you're over par," Woods said.

Source:
Agencies
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