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JUSTIN ROSE upstaged his old friend Ian Poulter by grabbing a share of the first-round lead at the Masters last night.

Poulter had jumped to the top of the leaderboard by aceing the 16th hole with an eight-iron on his way to a two-under par 70.

But then Rose went two better with a 68 to lead after 18 holes in Augusta for the third time in his career. "It's a great start," said Rose, who also started strongly in 2004 and 2007.

"You can't win the tournament on the first day, you can only lose it. I haven't lost it so it's a great day. But I learned last year you can't count your chickens early."

Poulter led wild celebrations at the 16th after becoming only the 19th man to hit a hole-in-one.

"The roar from the crowd was so loud all the hairs on the back of my neck stood up," said the Ryder Cup star.

"There's an instant adrenaline rush, probably the biggest I've had. Any hole-in-one is nice but it is great timing to do it here."

Rose revealed Poulter and Trevor Immelman, who also shot a 68, had travelled up to Georgia from Florida a fortnight ago to spend two days practising for the first Major of the season.

"It was very valuable because it took the pressure off and I didn't need to cram in lots of rounds this week," he added. "I could come into the first day a bit fresher than some other guys."


POUL DANCER: Ian Poulter celebrates his hole-in-one at the Masters yesterday; JOINT LEADER: Trevor Immelman
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 11, 2008
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