Bubba Watson begins defense of Masters title

Bubba Watson begins defense of Masters title with two birdies followed by a bogey

Bubba Watson, the defending champion of the Masters, got off to a good start in Thursday's first round play at Augusta National.

Two early birdies -- followed by a bogey on No. 6 -- put Watson at 1-under and tied for fifth place. Earlier in the week, he talked about the difficulty of trying to capture back-to-back titles.

"Even a year later, you're excited about your win," he said. "Sometimes you get away from your routine or you just use your energy in a different way."

Justin Rose led a trio of early leaders at 3-under. Webb Simpson and Paul Casey were at 2-under.

On a day when former champions Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player served as honorary starters, veteran Tom Watson turned back the clock with a score of 1-under through 12 holes.

Follow David Wharton on Twitter @LATimesWharton


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