The Masters 2013: Lee Westwood's putter keeps him in hunt after a sloppy start at Augusta

Briton starts with a bogey but claws back to a two-under finish in quest for a first major

Augusta National

The green jackets responsible for deciding the pairings were either trying to inspire Lee Westwood or twist a knife into his heart. The 39-year-old former World No 1 set off hoping for a fast start in pursuit of that elusive first major championship title at his 14th Masters and 60th major. His partners? Mike Weir and Jim Furyk, the Masters and US Open champions from 2003.

Westwood has reached the summit of the game and won more worldwide tournaments than the Canadian and American combined and yet Worksop's finest, now a Florida resident, must have glanced at his partners on the 1st tee and wondered how the hell they have triumphed at one of the four coveted titles and yet he is still stuck on zero. He turns 40 at the end of this month and Colin Montgomerie believes this is Westwood's last chance to avoid being, well, the new Colin Montgomerie with a career spent largely dominating the European Tour but falling agonisingly short at the history-making championships. Westwood has 13 top-10s in the majors and his last three finishes at the Masters have been third, 11th and second.

Tee to green, Westwood is one of the finest in the game. Chipping and putting have long been his Achilles heels. So driving his opening shot into the Augusta pine trees right of the first fairway was not exactly what Westwood had in mind over breakfast.

From there, among the pine needles, it got worse. His escape shot clattered into a tree trunk which brought it to a halt 20 yards short of the green, leaving him a nasty knee-trembling chip over one of Augusta's blindingly white sand bunkers. It came to a halt pin high just 10 feet from the cup. Perfect. And then gravity and the slope of the green did their deadly deed. There were gasps from the galleries and a grimace from Westwood as his ball trickled back down to the edge of the green. He chipped up to 12 feet and missed the putt. Double-bogey six. Disaster among the dogwoods.

But they make them tough in Worksop. Westwood thrashed his drive down the fairway of the par-five 2nd, which set up the opportunity for a two-putt birdie. One shot recovered. But there was more trouble at the 3rd. He committed the cardinal sin of taking an iron off the tee for safety then plopped his ball in a fairway bunker. It took a slippery 12-foot par saver to keep him from giving that birdie right back. He made a complete hash of the par-three 4th. He chipped through the green and holed an improbable 35-footer to save par. At least the putter was working.

Westwood dug in and returned to even par with a birdie at the 9th before finally getting his account into the red numbers at the 10th. Westwood now had control over his swing. Down in the cathedral bowl of the course, where the grandstands (sorry, bleachers) were packed and the oohs and aahs echo around the pines, turning Augusta into a golfing stadium, the par-five 13th and 15th holes coughed up two more birdies to take Westwood to three under par. Shame then, after grinding back from such a sloppy start, that he threw in a bogey at the 17th. Still, 70, two under par, not bad.

At least he had the pleasure of seeing his name writ large on the leaderboard as he climbed to the top of the hill to the 18th green. There he will have also seen the name of David Lynn at four under on his Masters debut.

So as the galleries swarmed after Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, amid all the glamour of Augusta, it was two lads from Worksop and Stoke that had provided the morning's entertainment.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
news
News
Those who were encouraged to walk in a happy manner remembered less negative words
science
Sport
footballChelsea 6 Maribor 0: Blues warm up for Premier League showdown with stroll in Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
News
Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
i100
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Environment
Sudan, the last male northern white rhino
environmentThe death of a white northern rhino in Kenya has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells