The champion double bogeyed the opening hole after sliced his tee shot into the trees and bogeyed the next as well but scrapped hard in the testing wind to finish just one over.
“When I was stood on the third tee, if someone had said I would shoot 73 I would have ripped their hand off and walked up the hill and gone inside and had a cup of tea,” said Willett.
Danny Willett overcame a difficult start at Augusta
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“It was a less than ideal start, not what I had envisaged the last 12 months starting out my defence, but I fought back really well, dug my heels in and hit some really good golf shots.
“It was a tricky day, but I don’t think 73 is going to do a great deal of damage to your overall week with the conditions today.”
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