2013 Masters Tournament

Masters Leaderboard Round 1: Marc Leishman Leads Early at Augusta National

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 11:  Marc Leishman of Australia smiles during the first round of the 2013 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 11, 2013 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Andrew Redington/Getty Images
Seph AndersonCorrespondent IIIApril 11, 2013

The 2013 Masters Tournament is underway at Augusta National.

While Tiger Woods is off to a hot start (minus-two thru No. 15), 29-year-old Australian Marc Leishman (six-under) currently sits atop the Round 1 leaderboard as afternoon play continues at the Masters.

In 113 career events on the PGA Tour, the current Masters leader only boasts one career victory.

This season, the world's No. 108-ranked player in the latest Official World Golf Rankings has missed four cuts in nine tournament appearances. Moreover, he's only posted one top-10 finish, which came at the Sony Open in Hawaii.

In terms of experience at Augusta National, Leishman missed the cut in his only appearance at the Masters back in 2010.

So, how is it that a player ranked outside the Top 100 in the world leads Round 1 of the Masters?

That's a good question, since Leishman currently sits at No. 154 on the PGA Tour in terms of all-around ranking among his PGA peers. However, anything can happen in majors, even at Augusta.

Let's take a look at how Leishman recorded a 66 in Round 1, which currently has him leading.

After shaking off nerves and a bogey on the opening hole, the Australian parred No. 2 before making birdie on the par-four third hole. From there, he parred the rest of the front nine except for a birdie on No. 8.

A minus-one start on the front nine at Augusta National was solid, but the back nine treated Leishman better than even he could have imagined. Without a single bogey on the back side, he birdied hole Nos. 10, 13, 14, 15 and 16 to card a six-under, 66 in Round 1 of the Masters.

The 2009 PGA Tour rookie of the year has put himself in surprisingly good shape at the end of Day 1.

However, a Round 1 lead at the Masters isn't exactly a good thing as CBSSports.com's Kyle Porter noted:

If the first-round lead holds, Leishman will not be in good company. Only Trevor Immelman (2008) and Ben Crenshaw (1984) have won the Masters in the last 29 years after leading the first round.

Leishman was a 300-1 pick coming in; those odds have dropped a bit, to 25-1.

He was the 2009 PGA Tour rookie of the year. His highest career finish at a major is a T27 at the 2012 PGA Championship.

On Friday, Leishman will tee off at 12:35 p.m. ET on what should be a rather wet Augusta National.

It'll be interesting to see how the young golfer sleeps on the lead and performs in Round 2.

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