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Rory Revisited

Masters Update 2 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The right side off the first tee is no man's land at Augusta National. Hit a drive left and gaps between the pines allow a golfer to recover. Hit it right and there's a tangle of trees to contend with.

I walked out of the media center a short while ago to catch the final two groups on nearby No. 1. I was in the pine straw, 20 yards from the right-side fairway, when I heard a crack! Suddenly there's a ball falling from the trees and rolling right at me. It's Rory McIlroy's.

This wasn't the start the U.S. Open champ was after following last year's closing-round disaster here. McIlroy punched his next shot of the pine needles into the rough, then punched his third shot under a tree. He ended up making double-bogey 6 -- a stroke better than the triple-bogey 7 he took during last year's final-round 80. Ouch.

So far the round still belongs to Henrik Stenson. The Swede who's missed the cut at his last two Masters remains 6-under through 13 holes on his 36th birthday.

-- Bob DiCesare

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