Masters 2011: Martin Kaymer's Masters troubles continue
Masters round one leaderboard:
- R McIlroy (NI), A Quiros (Spa)
- YE Yang (Kor), KJ Choi (Kor)
- M Kuchar (US), Ricky Barnes (US)
- R Fisher (Eng), B Snedeker (US), S Garcia (Spa), C Schwartzel (SA), T Immelman (SA), G Ogilvy (Aus), G Woodland (US)
- Selected others: -2:
- P Mickelson (US), P Casey (Eng)
- T Woods (US)
- L Westwood (Eng), L Donald (Eng)
- S Lyle (Sco), J Rose (Eng)
- M Laird (Sco), G McDowell, (NI), I Poulter (Eng)
- P Harrington (Ire)
- M Kaymer (Ger), I Woosnam (Wal)
World number one Martin Kaymer continued his miserable Masters run with an opening six-over-par round of 78 at Augusta.
The German has failed to make the cut on his previous three appearances at the first major of the season and that run looks set to be extended this year.
"There's some golf courses that suit you and some just don't," he said.
Ireland's Padraig Harrington, who hit a 77, revealed he considered pulling out with a neck injury before teeing off.
The three-time major winner said: "I haven't even come close to swinging the club. I wanted to pull out, but I wouldn't - that's just my nature.
"It wasn't much fun. I always have to be wary - I was swinging the left-handed shot, just warming up and it just kind of clicked."
However, while Harrington's five-over-par 77 equalled his worst score at Augusta, for Kaymer, the 78 represented a new low.
He was already three over when he birdied eight, but a double bogey on the 10th and three more dropped shots on the 14th, 17th and 18th wrecked his card.
"Every day that I played here was a tough day so far - maybe one day it will work out," he added.
"Obviously it's frustrating if you never play well. I think that maybe I've got to sit down with [fellow German] Bernhard Langer later and ask him. He won here twice."
Reigning US Open champion Graeme McDowell also struggled, dropping four shots in the final four holes to finish on two over par.
He reached the turn at one under par but he three-putted four times in six holes on the back nine as a double-bogey six on the par-four 10th and a bogey on the 14th dropped him back to two over par.
"It's a little frustrating because I did everything right," said the Northern Irishman.
"I put the ball in positions, I just couldn't quite get it going on the greens. I just can't afford any mediocre rounds from here on in.
"I've got three rounds ahead of me and I've just got to shoot in the 60s all three times to have a chance."
England's Ian Poulter played a solid front nine, picking up shots on the third and sixth to reach the turn at two under par, however he dropped four shots in the final four holes, including a double bogey on the last, to finish two over par.
It was not all doom and gloom for the European golfers with Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy and Alvaro Quiros of Spain leading the way on seven under par.
Ross Fisher took advantage of the benign conditions early on to post a three-under-par 69 to end the day as the leading Englishman.
The 30-year-old went out in the first group and although he bogeyed two of his first four holes, he bounced back well.
"I felt like I played nicely," he said. "I holed some real good putts. Anytime you can make five birdies on the front nine is very pleasing.
"I was just trying to take some momentum into the back nine. I holed a monster on 11, I made a great save on 12 out of the front trap but I wanted to birdie the par fives and unfortunately I didn't do that.
"It was a shame to drop one on 17 but overall I'm pleased with 69."
Fisher was joined by Sergio Garcia on three under par. The Spaniard raced to three under par after five holes but dropped back with bogeys on six and 12 before a superb eagle on the par-five 13th and a follow-up birdie on 14 brought him within three of Rory McIlroy's lead.
Paul Casey fared better on the closing holes, reeling off three birdies on 15, 16 and 17 to move to two under par, although he did not find the going easy.
"I lacked confidence," he stated. "I struggled, especially off the tee. I found most of the trees out there.
"You had to be patient, but you also had to do something because seven-under from Rory is a spectacular score. You can't win it on a Thursday but you can certainly shoot yourself in the foot."