The Masters: Rahm and Hovland share the lead at Augusta

By Sports Desk April 06, 2023

Jon Rahm birdied the last hole of his first round to join Viktor Hovland in a share of the Masters lead.

Hovland held a three-shot advantage at one stage as he started the first major of the year with a magnificent seven-under 65 on Thursday.

Rahm matched the Norwegian's round to become the co-leader at Augusta National after starting with a double bogey.

The 2021 U.S. Open champion eagled the par-five eighth to go three under and fire a warning to the rest of the field.

Rahm birdied the 13th, 15th and 16th before rolling in a short putt for another gain at 18 following a brilliant approach shot.

Hovland had earlier signed for his lowest Masters round and his joint-best in a major, ending his day without a solitary bogey in great conditions.

Cameron Young and Brooks Koepka are just two shots behind the leading duo, with fellow American Sam Burns also five under through only eight holes.

Jordan Spieth, Shane Lowry, Xander Schauffele, Adam Scott, Joaquin Niemann and Sam Bennett are well poised on four under.

Bennett matched the record for the best front nine by an amateur in the Masters, hitting the turn in 32.

Defending champion Scottie Scheffler was two under approaching the turn, while Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods are one over and two over respectively in Georgia.

Will Zalatoris withdrew from the prestigious event due to injury.

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