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Golf | US Masters

Amateurs hold their own at Masters

Japanese amateur Hideki Matsuyama continued his love affair with the Masters on Thursday, carding a one-under-par 71 in the first round to outshoot most of the professionals at Augusta National.

The 20-year-old student showed no signs of nerves in the pressure cooker atmosphere to finish the day a shot better that Tiger Woods and defending champion Charl Schwartzel and four better than world No 1 Luke Donald.

Only 13 players had a better score than Matsuyama, who trails leader Lee Westwood by four strokes.

"I'm really glad to have the good results with the round, but at the same time I still see there is some improvement I have to make," he told reporters.

"So I would like to do my best to improve that in coming around."

Matsuyama, a two-times winner of the Asian Amateur Championship, was the only amateur to make the cut at the 2011 Masters and finished the tournament tied for 27th place.

American Patrick Cantlay, ranked the No 1 amateur in the world, also shot a 71 while Kelly Kraft and Corbin Mills both shot 74.

"I didn't really have any expectations out there ... I'm pleased with one-under," said Cantlay. "It could have been a few better. I three-putted twice."


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