Jack Nicklaus believes Rory McIlroy is the man to beat in the Masters as he seeks to complete the career grand slam with a victory at Augusta National.A resurgent Tiger Woods, 2015 winner Jordan Spieth, US PGA champion Justin Thomas and world number one Dustin Johnson are among the favourites for the year's first major championship.
But six-time Masters champion Nicklaus feels McIlroy should be top of the betting market following his impressive victory in the Arnold Palmer Invitational last month.Tiger Woods was in the spotlight in his first Masters appearance in three years on Thursday, but it was playing partner Marc Leishman who topped the leaderboard through nine holes at Augusta National.
Australia's Leishman, meanwhile, was three-under thanks to birdies at the second, third and seventh -- where he landed his approach shot five feet from the pin and rolled in the birdie putt. In a talent-laden field, 47-year-old five-time major winner Phil Mickelson, world number one Dustin Johnson and former Masters winner Jordan Spieth were to tee off later on Thursday. South African Dylan Fritelli will entered unchartered territory on Thursday when he teed off at The Masters for the first time in his career. Other South Africans to look out for over the next four days include Brendan Grace, Louis Oosthuizen as well as past winners Charl Schwartzel and Trevor Immelman