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Weir finishes even in first round at Masters; Hughes, Svensson struggle

Mike Weir Mike Weir - The Canadian Press

Twenty years after he became the first Canadian men's player to win a major championship, Mike Weir's 2023 Masters tournament is off to a solid start.

Weir posted an even-par 72 in his opening round Thursday morning, making three pars and three bogeys along the way.

"It was a nice solid round, there was some nice, solid putts that I made ... there was also some opportunities I missed, it was on the edge of being a four- or five-under round," said Weir afterwards.

You can watch LIVE coverage of The Masters throughout the tournament on TSN, TSN+, and the TSN App.  

Weir was one of four Canadians in the Augusta field this week, joining Mackenzie Hughes, Adam Svensson and Corey Conners at golf's first major championship of the year. 

Hughes and Svensson each struggled in their opening rounds Thursday. Hughes finished with a four-over 76 and Svensson posted a three-over 75. 

Svensson struggled on the opening nine, as four straight bogeys on holes three through six left him in a deep hole. He bottomed out at six-over, but shot well in the back nine to get back to just three-over. 

"I definitely noticed the greens were a lot faster, a lot firmer, so it took me a bit of time to warm up to that," said Svensson after his first day ended. 

Svensson finished the back nine with four birdies against just one bogey, so there is cause for optimism in day two on Friday. "Tomorrow will be better, I'll adjust to the greens and work on the putting a little bit," he said. 

Conners teed off in the early afternoon and was the final Canadian to finish his first round. He shot a one-over 73 to finish just behind Weir. 

Conners was two-under in the back nine, but ran into trouble when he double-bogeyed the 15th hole, and a bogey on the 18th left him over par for the day. 

Weir's playing partner Kevin Na withdrew with an illness after nine holes, leaving Weir to finish the second half of the round solo. The 52-year-old from Sarnia, Ont., will play with a marker in the second round, tweets TSN's Bob Weeks. World No. 8 Will Zalatoris also withdrew before his round began Thursday.

Weir's win in 2003 in a playoff against Len Mattiace earned him an automatic invite to Augusta for the entirety of his playing career. Svensson and Hughes each gained entry with wins at the start of the current PGA season while Conners is 28th in the Official World Golf Rankings, earning an invite based on his ranking.