The rain wasn't a surprise.
Neither were three of the names on the leaderboard.
But hardly anything else went according to plan on a wet and wacky opening to the Masters.
Tiger Woods hit a shot into Rae's Creek with his putter.
Billy Casper knocked five straight shots into the water at the par-3 16th.
Ernie Els spent most of his day tromping through the woods.
"It doesn't matter who you are or who that golf ball belongs to when you're on the tee," said Shaun Micheel, who struggled to a 75. "It makes you look silly at times."
Chris DiMarco was atop the leaderboard at 4 under par, but he still had four holes to play when darkness settled over Augusta National.
Mark Hensby was first in the clubhouse with a 3-under 69 in his Masters debut, one of just 24 players who completed the round after heavy rains delayed the start by nearly 5 1/2 hours.
"It's hard to have expectations on such a demanding golf course," the Australian said.
Right on their heels were three golfers with high expectations: defending champion Phil Mickelson, top-ranked Vijay Singh and two-time US Open winner Retief Goosen.
Woods was nowhere to be found; neither was Els.
Woods hasn't broken par in the first round of the Masters since he won in 2002, and that's where he was headed again, standing 2 over with six holes to play.
His signature shot came at the par-5 13th, which he reached in two with a risky shot out of the pines. But he misjudged the speed on a 70-foot eagle putt so badly that the ball raced by the hole, tumbled down the bank and went into Rae's Creek.
Woods left the ball there, replayed the putt and fared much better, two-putting for a bogey.
Els, the runner-up to Mickelson last year and a perennial Masters contender, spent more time in the trees than the fairway. No wonder he was 3 over through 11 holes.
Of course, no one looked sillier than Casper.
At 73, after sitting out the last three years, he decided to return for one more Masters. Not his best decision.
Casper took a 14 at the par-3 16th -- the highest in Masters history for any hole -- and finished with a 106, 11 strokes more than the previous record for futility. But it won't go in the books because he decided not to turn in his scorecard.
``I sort of figured before I played that I wasn't going to sign it,'' said Casper, officially listed as withdrawn. ``I only wanted to play 18 holes and get it out of my system.''
The 68 players still on the course when the horn sounded were set to return at 1245 GMT Friday to complete the opening round. Barring any more weather delays, the tournament should be back to normal -- if there is such a thing at Augusta -- by the weekend.
The rain was downright routine. For the fourth straight week, and the ninth time in 15 tournaments this year, bad weather delayed a round.
DiMarco birdied three straight holes late in the day to claim the top spot. He didn't have much sympathy when told of Woods' misfortune.
"He's got a few good breaks over his career," DiMarco said. "So you know what? Darn. It's golf."
Trying to hold down his No. 1 ranking, Singh was a model of consistency. Along with picking up three birdies on the front nine, Singh twice saved par with 10-foot putts. His only bogey came on his final hole, a three-putt from about 100 feet at No. 11.
"I hit my driver beautifully and had some good saves," Singh said. "It was just disappointing how I finished."
Mickelson opened with a bogey, but kept himself out of trouble most of the day and gave himself ample birdie chances. He chipped in for birdie on No. 2, stuck a wedge inside 4 feet on the third and twice made pars with beautiful lag putts to within 3 feet.
Goosen, the forgotten figure in all the hype over the "Big Four," made a rare birdie on the par-3 12th, then recovered from a tee shot into the azaleas on the par-5 13th to escape with par. He was minus 2.
A sudden shortage of locks in Australian rugby union has opened the door for Matt Philip to reclaim his Wallabies jersey, but the Melbourne Rebels player says that the uncertainties wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic have left him with a difficult choice. The Australian yesterday named Philip among 16 Rebels players either set to leave the Super Rugby club or seriously considering it, underscoring the challenge Rugby Australia faces to retain talent. Linked with a move to Section Paloise Bearn Pyrenees, commonly referred to as Pau, in France’s Top 14, Philip said that he had yet to settle his playing future, and
The Rakuten Monkeys remained atop the CPBL table, despite a 5-7 loss to the Uni-President Lions in Taoyuan yesterday, while the CTBC Brothers fell to the Fubon Guardians at the Taichung Intercontinental Stadium. The visiting Guardians blasted three home runs in their 7-3 triumph, helping Dominican pitcher Henry Sosa pocket his second win of the season. Improving his record to 2-2, Sosa sailed through seven innings, allowing six hits while striking out five. He gave up one earned run in the opening frame, with two Brothers relievers mopping up the final two innings. Fubon’s marquee stars, designated hitter Hu Chin-lung and first baseman
When Chinese Super League club Tianjin Tianhai surprisingly thrashed Rafael Benitez’s Dalian Yifang 5-1 to stay in the league in November last year, disgruntled fans were quick to allege corruption — the legacy of a murky past that exploded into scandal 10 years ago. Benitez, who led Liverpool to the 2005 UEFA Champions League title, was perplexed by one of the heaviest defeats of his coaching career, saying: “This is a game that I don’t quite understand.” Despite fan complaints to the Chinese Football Association (CFA), no case was brought and there is no evidence of wrongdoing. However, the haste with which some
Georgian tennis star Nikoloz Basilashvili, ranked 27th in the world, was on Sunday charged with physically assaulting his ex-wife, prosecutors said. A court in Tbilisi charged Basilashvili with perpetrating “violence against a family member committed in the presence of a minor,” before releasing him on US$30,000 bail, prosecutor Natia Guruli said. He faces up to three years in prison if found guilty. Basilashvili’s ex-wife, Neka Dorokashvili, on Sunday told Mtavari TV that Basilashvili “physically assaulted” her on Friday in the presence of their five-year-old son. Basilashvili denied the charges, his lawyer Irma Chkadua said. The 28-year-old won his second ATP Tour title at the China