Els leads SA charge at Masters

Ernie Els (AP)
Ernie Els (AP)

Cape Town - Ernie Els leads the South African charge after the first round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club.

Els, a four-time major winner, shot an even par 72 on Day 1 of the year's first major on Thursday. He sits joint 12th, seven shots behind American leader Charley Hoffman, who shot a 65.

Charl Schwartzel, the 2011 Masters winner, is two shots behind Els in joint 26th position.

South Africa's top-ranked golfer, Branden Grace, shot a four-over par 76 for a share of 54th position.

Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open Championship winner, is a shot behind Grace, sharing 66th spot with several others, while it was a tough day for 2008 Masters winner Trevor Immelman, who is tied for 86th after shooting a seven over 79.

Scores after Thursday's opening round of the 81st Masters at par-72 Augusta National Golf Club:

65 - Charley Hoffman (USA) 34-31

69 - William McGirt (USA) 35-34

70 - Lee Westwood (ENG) 39-31

71 - Russell Henley (USA) 35-36, Kevin Chappell (USA) 35-36, Andy Sullivan (ENG) 35-36, Matthew Fitzpatrick (ENG) 35-36, Phil Mickelson (USA) 35-36, Justin Rose (ENG) 34-37, Jason Dufner (USA) 35-36, Sergio Garcia (ESP) 35-36

72 - Soren Kjeldsen (DEN) 36-36, Thomas Pieters (BEL) 32-40, Paul Casey (ENG) 36-36, Ernie Els (RSA) 39-33, Matt Kuchar (USA) 39-33, Shane Lowry (IRL) 35-37, Rory McIlroy (NIR) 39-33

73 - Scott Piercy (USA) 34-39, Fred Couples (USA) 36-37, Rickie Fowler (USA) 34-39, Danny Willett (ENG) 38-35, Jon Rahm (ESP) 35-38, Marc Leishman (AUS) 35-38, Justin Thomas (USA) 37-36

74 - Daniel Summerhays (USA) 38-36, Brendan Steele (USA) 37-37, Larry Mize (USA) 38-36, Stewart Hagestad (USA) 37-37, Kevin Kisner (USA) 37-37, Brooks Koepka (USA) 35-39, Jason Day (AUS) 37-37, Rod Pampling (AUS) 36-38, Pat Perez (USA) 39-35, Ryan Moore (USA) 36-38, Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 40-34, Chris Wood (ENG) 36-38, Yuta Ikeda (JPN) 38-36, Alex Noren (SWE) 39-35, Bubba Watson (USA) 38-36

75 - Billy Hurley (USA) 36-39, Adam Hadwin (CAN) 38-37, Gary Woodland (USA) 38-37, Adam Scott (AUS) 37-38, Jordan Spieth (USA) 36-39, Rafael Cabrera-Bello (ESP) 39-36, Kim Si-Woo (KOR) 37-38, Brandt Snedeker (USA) 37-38, James Hahn (USA) 35-40, Webb Simpson (USA) 35-40, Steve Stricker (USA) 38-37, Bernhard Langer (GER) 36-39, Bill Haas (USA) 35-40

76 - Mike Weir (CAN) 39-37, Sean O'Hair (USA) 36-40, Kevin Na (USA) 39-37, Russell Knox (SCO) 36-40, Hideki Matsuyama (JPN) 39-37, Branden Grace (RSA) 41-35, Ian Woosnam (WAL) 37-39, Ross Fisher (ENG) 36-40, An Byeong-Hun (KOR) 37-39, Patrick Reed (USA) 38-38, Hideto Tanihara (JPN) 38-38, Jimmy Walker (USA) 39-37

77 - Brian Stuard (USA) 39-38, Sandy Lyle (SCO) 36-41, Zach Johnson (USA) 39-38, Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 38-39, Daniel Berger (USA) 36-41, Hudson Swafford (USA) 38-39, Jose Maria Olazabal (ESP) 37-40, Bernd Wiesberger (AUT) 38-39, Henrik Stenson (SWE) 40-37

78 - Jhonattan Vegas (VEN) 38-40, Jim Furyk (USA) 40-38, Tommy Fleetwood (ENG) 37-41, J.B. Holmes (USA) 36-42, Francesco Molinari (ITA) 39-39, Wang Jeung-Hun (KOR) 37-41, Martin Kaymer (GER) 36-42, Mark O'Meara (USA) 38-40, Brad Dalke (USA) 39-39, Curtis Luck (AUS) 38-40, Vijay Singh (FIJ) 39-39

79 - Trevor Immelman (RSA) 40-39, Roberto Castro (USA) 38-41, Emiliano Grillo (ARG) 40-39, Angel Cabrera (ARG) 38-41, Mackenzie Hughes (CAN) 39-40

80 - Tyrrell Hatton (ENG) 40-40

81 - Toto Gana (CHI) 42-39

82 - Scott Gregory (ENG) 41-41

WD - Dustin Johnson (USA)

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