Augusta, GA – Much of the talk on the first day surrounded China's Tianlang Guan.
The 14-year-old became the youngest player to ever compete at the Masters. For his part, Guan seemed to fit right in.
"I was just a little bit nervous on the first tee, after a great tee shot ... I started to feel comfortable. I just want to enjoy tomorrow and hit some good shots," Guan said afterwards.
The youngster makes it sound so easy doesn't he?
Here's what other players were saying after the first round of the 77th Masters:
- BEN CRENSHAW, the 1984 and 1995 Masters champion, played alongside Guan and had this to say about the youngster; "He played about four of the most delicate pitches I've ever seen. He played like a 28-year-old journeyman and stayed well within himself. His thought process was never rushed, and he was very patient. It certainly didn't seem like he had any nerves."
- DUSTIN JOHNSON, has made the cut in each of his previous three appearances at the Masters, but has failed to crack the top 30. He does have five top-10 finishes at the other three majors, and he talked about how he managed to score on Thursday; "I hit a couple bad tee shots, but I was able to get something up around the greens and get it up and down. Around here, just leaving it on the right side of the hole is key. I putted pretty well. I didn't have any 3-putts, which if you can go around here without any 3-putts, you're doing pretty good."
- FRED COUPLES, the 1992 Masters champion, was spurred on by his ability to keep tee shots near his two big-hitting playing partners; "I just love this place. You have to drive the ball pretty long. And it be honest with you, I was swinging pretty hard today. I was close to a couple of Dustin Johnson's 3- woods and Brendan Grace's drivers, and that gets me pumped up. I love the course, and if I drive it like that, I can play it any day."
- RORY MCILROY, the reigning PGA Champion, can reclaim the top spot in the world rankings this week with a win and Tiger Woods finishing outside the top two, and he talked about his struggle to keep his round going on Thursday; "I played the front nine really well. I turned in a couple under, but it seemed every time I got a bit of momentum I gave it straight back. I couldn't get any momentum going."
- PHIL MICKELSON, the three-time Masters champion, was very philosophical about his round and wants to get more aggressive going forward; "I knew on Tuesday that this was how it was going to play out having not played competitively in a little while. I'm tentative and I'm a little bit passive. I tried to be very careful not to make a huge, dumb mistake early on. After being 2-over through seven holes, I found my groove. I can't wait to get back out on the course tomorrow because I feel like I can light it up."
- TREVOR IMMELMAN, the 2008 Masters champion, has had just one top-5 and four top-10 finishes since claiming his lone major championship five years ago. He has battled a variety of injuries since, and he talked about how good this round was, "Any time you play well it's satisfying. I obviously feel comfortable here and I've made a lot of friends over the years, so it kind of feels like coming home in a way. It's nice to get a good round under my belt early."