Harding at home at Augusta thanks to TV viewing

Justin Harding claimed the early clubhouse lead on his Augusta debut, before citing his experience of watching the Masters as a key factor.

Unheralded South African Harding carded a 69 on Thursday to reach the top of the leaderboard. His score would have been even better had he not bogeyed the last.

After impressing in his maiden competitive round at Augusta, he told reporters: “It may be my first time around, but I’ve watched it so many times on TV that you kind of know where to hit it and where to miss it.

“I executed quite a few golf shots and managed to make a few putts, which is key around here.

“I was happy with it. I handled my emotions pretty well. [It was] a bit naughty on the last making a bogey, but at the end of the day I’ll take it.

“In theory, this is a practice round for me. I’m still learning and this golf course has lots to offer still.”