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Guyatt takes lead from Scott in Masters

Date
Matthew Guyatt tees off on the 18th.

Matthew Guyatt tees off on the 18th. Photo: Getty Images

Return here for updates throughout the day from round one of the Masters.

Richard Hinds on Adam Scott.
Matt Murnane on the long putter controversy.

5.00 pm

Latest scores:

Australia's Adam Scott tees off during day one of the Australian Masters.

Australia's Adam Scott tees off during day one of the Australian Masters. Photo: Getty Images

Matthew Guyatt -7 18
Adam Scott -5 18
Michael Hendry -5 16
Kalem Richardson -4 18
Craig Hancock -4 18
Rika Batibasaga -4 18
Peter O'Malley -4 18
Jake Higginbottom (AM) -4 18
Ian Poulter -4 16
Stuart Appleby -4 16
Paul Gow  -4 15

4.30pm

Perfect conditions at Kingston Heath have opened the door for low scores, and little-known Queenslander Matthew Guyatt has taken full advantage, overtaking Adam Scott with a stunning seven-under par first round.
Guyatt is the surprise leader of the Australian Masters late on day one after a near flawless round that included seven birdies.

Early leader: Adam Scott.

Early leader: Adam Scott. Photo: AFP

After finishing three-under after the first nine, the 32-year-old rolled in three straight birdies at the 6th, 7th and 8th to pass world No. 5 Scott, who had earlier carded a five-under par 67.

Ryder Cup star Ian Poulter and former Australian Masters champion Stuart Appleby are both  closing in on Guyatt at four-under par through 16.

New Zealander Michael Hendry is also a chance to challenge for the lead by day's end, moving to equal second with Scott at five-under with four holes to play.

England's Ian Poulter is the reigning Australian Masters champion.

England's Ian Poulter is the reigning Australian Masters champion. Photo: Scott Barbour

2.50pm

The defending champion at this year's Australian Masters, Ryder Cup star Ian Poulter, is on the hunt for current leader Adam Scott. Playing the first round on the Kingston Heath course he has described as the "best yet", Poulter began the first day well, holing two birdies on the first three holes. However further chances during the front nine went begging, leaving the Englishman at two-under par turning into the back nine, three shorts behind Scott.

The top-ranked Australian shot a five-under par 67 earlier in the day and remains the outright leader, however Queenslander Matthew Guyatt is emerging as another first-round boulter, moving to equal second at four-under after 12 holes.

Hunting for birdies: Scott peers for opportunities.

Hunting for birdies: Scott peers for opportunities. Photo: Getty Images

Former Masters champion Stuart Appelby, who is playing in the group with Poulter, is one-under after a first nine that included two birdies and a bogey.

Another former Masters winner Richard Green, also playing with Poulter, went even through his first eight holes before a bogey on the ninth to end up one-over.

2.30pm

Latest scores:

Adam Scott -5 (18)
Kalem Richardson -4 (18)
Craig Hancock -4 (18)
Rika Batibasaga -4 (18)
Peter O'Malley     -4 (18)
Matthew Guyatt     -4 (11)
Rohan Blizard -3 (18)
Mahal Pearce -3 (18)
Andre Stolz -3     (12)
Cameron Smith (AM) -2 (18)

2pm

Latest scores:

Adam Scott -5 (18)
Kalem Richardson -4 (18)
Craig Hancock -4 (18)
Rika Batibasaga -4 (18)
Peter O'Malley -4 (18)
Rohan Blizard -3 (18)
Mahal Pearce -3 (18)
Matthew Guyatt -3 (9)
Cameron Smith (AM) -2 (18)
Andre Stolz titleist -2 (11)

1.40pm

Adam Scott has finished his first round of the Australian Masters as outright leader after a stunning second nine holes, which included five birdies. The favourite for this week's tournament at Kingston Heath had no trouble living up to his billing, overcoming a slow start to card a five-under 67.

Scott turned into the inward nine at even with the book, but exploded with four straight birdies on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th, including a 40 foot-plus putt on the par four 2nd. The world no. 5 said he was satsisfied with his performance, but admittted it could have been even better - as good as "nine or 10 under".

"There was a good score out there for me today, really low," he said after his round.

"But I'm very happy with my start, it's going to keep me in touch with everybody... even if someone does go very low, at least I'm on my way there.

"Today was a perfect day, the courses defences were down. There was no wind and the greens were soft and not very fast."

It puts Scott one shot ahead of four players who finished four-under, Tasmanian duo Kalem Richardson and Craig Hancock, Queenslander Rika Batibasaga and Peter O'Malley from New South Wales. International headliner Graeme McDowell carded a one-under par 71, a round that included 15 pars.

Richardson, who lived in Melbourne for three years and played pennant golf for Victoria Golf Club, admitted he was ahead of where he thought he would be after the first day.

"I set my goals pretty high... but my goals are towards the end of the week now," the 24-year-old said.

"I know I can start tournaments well, now it's all about putting four rounds together."

Two-time Masters champion Robert Allenby picked up two birdies during a solid back nine to finish the day at even, while fellow Australian US PGA Tour player Alistair Presnell finished one-over. The afternoon groups are out on the course, and defending champion Ian Poulter has already made a strong start, rolling in two birdies in his first five holes to be two under.

1.30pm

Latest scores:

Adam Scott -5 (18)
Kalem Richardson -4 (18)
Craig Hancock -4 (18)
Rika Batibasaga -4 (18)     
Peter O'Malley     -4 (18)    
Rohan Blizard     -3 (18)     
Mahal Pearce -3 (18)
Matthew Guyatt     -3 (8)
Cameron Smith (AM) -2 (18)
Jake Higginbottom (AM) -2 (9)

1.15pm

Adam Scott has started superbly in his quest for a maiden Australian Masters title, taking the clubhouse lead after his opening round at Melbourne’s Kingston Heath. Scott, chasing his first win for the year, holds a one-shot buffer over Tasmanian pair Kalem Richardson and Craig Hancock and Queenslander Rika Batibasaga, all also in the clubhouse, and NSW tour veteran Peter O’Malley, who is nearing the end of his round. Scott played with Irish 2010 US Open champion Graeme McDowell and 18-year-old West Australian amateur Oliver Goss. Defending champion Englishman Ian Poulter and Victoria’s 2010 champion Stuart Appleby are just starting their rounds.

12.40pm

Latest scores:

Adam Scott     -5 (18)
Kalem Richardson -4 (18)
Craig Hancock     -4 (18)
Rika Batibasaga -4 (18)
Peter O'Malley     -4 (17)
Rohan Blizard     -3 (18)
Mahal Pearce     -3 (18)
Cameron Smith (AM) -2 (18)
Craig Parry     -2 (17)    
Luke Paroz     -2 (15)

11.45am

World No.5 and tournament favourite Adam Scott is starting to make his move at Kingston Heath, joining little-known Tasmanian Kalem Richardson as joint leader on day one of the Australian Masters.
Scott has exploded with four birdies in the first four holes of the inward nine to jump to four-under after 12, equal with Richardson, who is four-under through 15. Scott, chasing his first Australian Masters title, turned out of the back nine at even with the card but the surge has left playing partner and fellow big-name draw card Graeme McDowell behind, with the Northern Irishman still at even par after 12 holes.
The third player in that group, Oliver Goss, is the highest-placed amateur, tied for second at three-under.
With all morning groups out on course, there are just 15 players in the red.

Latest scores:

Kalem Richardson -4 (18)
Craig Hancock -4 (17)
Adam Scott -4 (15)
Rohan Blizard -3 (18)
Mahal Pearce -3 (17)
Cameron Smith (AM) -3 (16)
Rika Batibasaga -2 (15)
Oliver Goss (AM) -2 (15)
Craig Parry -2 (14)
Peter O'Malley -2 (14)

11.00am

Headliners Adam Scott and Graeme McDowell will turn into the front nine of the first round of the Australian Masters at even with the book and three shots behind the leaders.

Australian star Scott blew an opportunity to go into the front nine at two-under and tied for second. His approach shot at the par four 18th was the best of his group, but he finished with a bogey after failing to hole a putt to save par. It undid his birdie on the par four 16th, a hole McDowell also picked up a shot on, however the 2010 US Open champion also gave one back on the par four 17th to end up at even.

Two-time Masters champion Robert Allenby finished his first nine holes at two-over after going for bogey on the 10th, 15th and 16th, but birdied the par five 14th to ensure his round hasn't got out of hand just yet. The 40-year-old also had a tough mid-range putt to save par on the 18th, but kept his head to drop it in.

Also in his group was Peter Senior, who turned the corner at one-over after a bogey at the 16th. New US PGA Tour elevation Alastair Presnell rode the bumps through the tricky back nine to be at two-over, a scorecard that so far includes a two bogeys, a double-bogey and two birdies. Tasmanian Kalem Richardson, through 14 holes, and Rohan Blizard, through 13 holes, from New South Wales are still joint leaders at three-under, one ahead of seven players on two-under.

Leaders:
-3 Kalem Richardson 15
-3 Rohan Blizard 15
-2 Ryan Haller 15
-2 Craig Hancock  13
-2 Rika Batibasaga  12
-2 Adam Scott 11
-2 Craig Parry 11
-2 Thomas Petersson  11
-2 Peter O'Malley 10

10.15am

Matt Murnane reports from Kingston Heath:

Tasmanian Kalem Richardson and Rohan Blizard from New South Wales share the outright lead early in the first round of the Australian Masters. Richardson, who turned professional late in 2011, shot an eagle at the par 5 14th and then birdied the par 5 1st hole to go to four-under after 11 holes, while Blizard has five birdies and a bogey in his four-under after 11 holes.

The pair are two strokes ahead of four players on two-under - Jason Norris (VIC) through 14, Ryan Haller (QLD) through 12, Grant Thomas (NSW) through 11 and Rika Batibasaga (QLD) through nine. Defending champion Ian Poulter is scheduled to tee off at 12:10 in a group that also features former Masters winners Stuart Appleby and Richard Green.

Rohan Blizard -4 (12)

Kalem Richardson -4 (11)

Jason Norris -2 (14)

Ryan Haller -2 (12)

Grant Thomas -2 (11)

Rika Batibasaga -2 (9)

10.10am

Latest scores

Kalem Richardson -4 (10)

Rohan Blizard -3 (11)

Jason Norris -2 (13)

Ryan Haller -2 (11)

Rika Batibasaga -2 (8)

9.30am

Australia's top player Adam Scott and Ireland's Graeme McDowell have both made steady starts to their opening rounds in the Australian Masters at Melbourne's Kingston Heath.

Playing together, Scott and McDowell have both parred their first four holes.

Tasmania's Kalem Richardson shares the early lead with Victorian Ryan Lynch and NSW's Rohan Blizard, all on two under par.  

with AAP

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