Rory McIlroy in contention at Masters whilst Bill Haas is the early leader

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Rory McIlroy is T-12 after day one
Rory McIlroy is T-12 after day one.

Rory McIlroy described the Augusta National Course as "Very Difficult" on the opening day of the Masters as he sits Tied-12th and three shots behind the early leader Bill Haas.

The Northern Irishman finished the day two under par and is fiercely bidding to win the third major of his young career.

McIlroy felt the course was designed to keep scores low on the opening day, this is what the 24-year-old had to say: "When I saw the pin positions I thought they didn't want people to get too many under par, the greens are drying out quickly, anything under par is good. By Sunday they are going to be pretty dicey."

One of the surprises of the day was early leader Bill Haas on -4, the American currently holds a one stroke advantage over defending champion Adam Scott, Bubba Watson and Louis Oosthuizen.

Haas, who's great uncle Bob Goalby won the Masters in 1968 had a fine day on a very difficult course and described his emotions after day one: "I know that I can't expect too much, you've just got to go out there and keep playing golf, try to hit that fairway on number one."

Phil Mickelson was one notable star who struggled in his opening round after carding 76 following a triple-bogey on the seventh, the three-time champion is hoping his erratic play is not too much to overcome as the tournament continues.

Phil Mickleson
US Masters
Rory McIlroy
Adam Scott
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