Woods Favored, But Challengers Aplenty At Augusta

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 10:  Tiger Woods of the United States walks across a green during a practice round prior to the start of the 2013 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2013 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Tiger Woods of the United States walks across a green during a practice round prior to the start of the 2013 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2013 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — With ceremonial tee shots from three of golf’s greatest players, the Masters has started on an overcast day.

Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player — with 13 green jackets between them — each struck a ball off the first tee to begin the first major of the year Thursday.

Then they stepped aside for the first group: Sandy Lyle, John Peterson and amateur Nathan Smith. Lyle and Smith both left the opening hole with bogeys.

Four-time Masters champion Tiger Woods comes into the week as the overwhelming favorite. He already has three wins this year and reclaimed the No. 1 spot in the world rankings.

But Woods has gone eight long years since his last win at Augusta. He’s scheduled to tee off at 10:45 a.m.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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