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Haas grabs early lead at Augusta

Augusta, GA (SportsNetwork.com) - Bill Haas carded a 4-under 68 on Thursday to grab a 1-stroke lead during the first round of the Masters.

Haas, a five-time PGA Tour winner, had never broken 70 at Augusta National Golf Club before this round.

Defending champion Adam Scott overcame a double-bogey on the par-3 12th to post a 3-under 69. He was alone in second when he left the course.

Kevin Stadler, who played a few groups ahead of his father, Craig, carded a 2- under 70. The younger Stadler was joined in third place by Gary Woodland, Jonas Blixt, Jimmy Walker, Brandt Snedeker and K.J. Choi.

The Stadlers were the first father-son duo to compete at the same Masters tournament.

Louis Oosthuizen, who lost to Bubba Watson in the 2012 playoff, was the leader on the course as he stood at minus-2 after 13 holes.

Haas stumbled out of the gate with a bogey on the first. He bounced back with a birdie on No. 2 and reached red numbers with a gain at the fourth. After a pair of pars, Haas converted another birdie effort on the seventh.

The reigning AT&T National champion ran off five consecutive pars from the eighth to remain near the lead.

Haas grabbed the lead at 3-under when he birdied the 13th and made it two in a row with another birdie on the 14th. He coughed up a shot on the 17th, but closed with a 5-foot birdie putt at the last to get in at 4-under.

The 68 tied Haas' low round in a major.

"I made some nice putts. A couple 20-footers to go in that sometimes you're happy to 2-putt, so to have those go in can swing your score one way or the other," said Haas, who won the FedExCup in 2011.

Scott opened with a birdie on the first. After four pars, Scott birdied the sixth and picked up another at the par-5 eighth.

The Australian gained the lead at minus-4 with a birdie on the 10th. Scott's tee shot at the par-3 12th found water and that led to a double-bogey. He got one stroke back with a birdie on the 14th. Scott closed with four straight pars to end one behind Haas.

Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Fred Couples and Rickie Fowler were among those that finished at 1-under 71, while Steve Stricker and Graeme McDowell managed even-par 72s. Former major winners Charl Schwartzel, Mike Weir and Stewart Cink posted 73s.

Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Bubba Watson, Lee Westwood, Dustin Johnson, Ernie Els, Luke Donald and Justin Rose are all on the first nine of their opening rounds.

04/10 16:22:42 ET

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