ADAM Scott leads the Australian contingent at the Masters after firing his best opening round in five years.
The Gold Coaster has failed to break par on Thursday at the April major since he appeared in 2014 but notched up five birdies and two bogeys to sign for a three-under-par 69.
The 2013 Masters champion was in a share of the clubhouse lead before three-time major winner Brooks Koepka and fellow American Bryson DeChambeau surged to the lead.
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The duo finished with rounds of six-under 66 and will take a one stroke lead into Friday.
Five-time major winner Phil Mickelson is in second after finishing with five birdies in seven for a five-under 67 – his lowest opening round since he won in 2010.
England’s Ian Poulter and US hope Dustin Johnson were four under, while five players including Scott and Spaniard Jon Rahm were a shot further back. Tiger Woods was one of 10 players at two under.
Queenslander Jason Day finished a shot back at two-under after briefly needing medical treatment on the second hole to treat his chronic back injury.
Cameron Smith also posted 70 while Marc Leishman is at even par after three-putting the last hole for a bogey.