AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Two old champions with 10 green jackets between them strolled up to the first tee to kick off the Masters, then stepped aside to let the real contenders take their place Thursday at Augusta National. Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer struck ceremonial tee shots shortly after sunrise, the traditional start to the years first major. With the overnight chill still lingering, the 81-year-old Palmer hit a little fade that stayed in the fairway. The 71-year-old Nicklaus went next, ripping one right down the middle about 30 yards past his longtime rival. "I guess its still kind of fun to lop it off the first tee and be part of a great event," Nicklaus said. "People enjoy it. Its Augustas way of honouring its past champions and people such as Arnold and myself. Its really quite nice they allow us to do this." Jonathan Byrd, Ross Fisher and Sean OHair were the first group actually keeping score. Fisher was the early leader, closing the front side with two straight birdies for a 3-under 33. The Englishman added another birdie at the 11th to get to 4 under. Retief Goosen of South Africa also was at 4 under after only four holes. The two-time U.S. Open winner holed out at No. 1 for an eagle, then added birdies at Nos. 3 and 4. Mike Weir of Brights Grove, Ont., the lone Canadian at the event, was 2 over through six holes. But most eyes figured to be on two guys who started later -- defending champ Phil Mickelson and struggling Tiger Woods. Together, theyve combined to win seven green jackets, including six of the last 10. That might be about their only similarity at the moment. Mickelson is coming off a three-stroke win at Houston, his first triumph since last years Masters and a sign that his game is peaking at just the right time. "I was able to kind of see the shot a little bit better and hold that picture in my mind throughout the swing and pull it off," he said. Woods, on the other hand, hasnt won since a sex scandal ended his marriage and tarnished his image. Hes in the midst of another complex swing change, still searching for the dominance that used to make him an automatic favourite at every event he entered. For the first time since 1999, Woods isnt the Augusta favourite. Mickelson is the bookmakers choice at 13-2, while his longtime rival is the second pick at 10-1. "It doesnt matter," said Woods, mired in the longest winless streak of his career -- 20 events during the past 17 months. "You still have to play the golf tournament, right? We all have an opportunity. Everyone has the same opportunity as I do." Indeed, this is far from a two-man show. PGA champion Martin Kaymer is the worlds top-ranked player. Though hes yet to make it to the weekend at Augusta, missing the cut in all three of his previous appearances, he comes in this time as the last guy to win a major. "The biggest part from the PGA is the confidence that you get," said Kaymer, who beat Bubba Watson in a playoff at Whistling Straits. "If you become one of the best players in the world, if you win tournaments like that, that gives you the motivation and the self-belief that you can win any tournament." Lee Westwood is a former No. 1 in the second spot behind Kaymer. The Englishman is regarded as the best player never to win a major, an unwanted distinction hed sure like to erase from his record. Thats what they used to say about Mickelson, who now has four major titles. He reminded Westwood of that in the scoring cabin after beating him by three strokes a year ago. "Just keep doing what youre doing," Mickelson told Westwood, "and it will happen for you sooner or later." Six of the top seven players have a shot at leaving Augusta in the No. 1 spot if they win, including third-ranked Mickelson, who squandered a dozen chances last year to take it. The next two -- No. 4 Luke Donald and fifth-ranked Graeme McDowell -- also are in the running. Even Woods, who has slipped all the way to seventh, isnt out of the chase for No. 1. Hes got a slim shot to reclaim it, while sixth-ranked Paul Casey doesnt because Woods has played fewer tournaments. Or this could be the place where a talented young player breaks through to win his first major -- perhaps Watson, Dustin Johnson or Rory McIlroy. Mickelson was scheduled to tee off in the next-to-last group, playing with Geoff Ogilvy and U.S. Amateur champ Peter Uihlein. Nick Mangold Jersey
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. The 6-foot Brooks signed with Houston on Tuesday, returning to the team that drafted him with the 26th overall pick in 2007.(Sports Network) - The Boston Bruins will try to close out their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series with Montreal tonight, when they visit the rival Canadiens at the Bell Centre for Game 6 of the best-of-seven set. The third-seeded Bruins have reeled off three straight wins to take a 3-2 edge in the series. If Boston can win this series it will mark the first time the franchise has ever won a best-of-seven set after falling behind two-games-to- none. The last two tests in this series have gone past regulation and Boston won Saturdays Game 5 in double overtime, as Nathan Horton scored at 9:03 of the final frame to give the Bruins their first lead of the series. Hortons game-winning tally came on the rebound of a Milan Lucic deflection. Andrew Ference threw a shot on net from the top of the left circle that Lucic got a piece of and Carey Price stopped. The rebound, though, sat at the right side and Horton was there to slam it home for the 2-1 win. "I saw the rebound come out, it was like its in slow motion," said Horton. "It was just sitting there. It felt good to put that in the net. That was an exciting game to be a part of tonight." Just a few minutes before Hortons goal, Boston netminder Tim Thomas kept the game alive with a beautiful save on Brian Gionta on a 2-on-1 break. Thomas made 44 stops for the Bruinns, who also received a goal from Brad Marchand.dddddddddddd. Jeff Halpern notched the lone goal for Montreal and Price made 49 stops for the Canadiens. "We made a push late and had our chances," said Halpern. "But they had their chances too and they took advantage of one more than we did." With Saturdays win, the Bruins became the first home team to win a game in this series and Montreal hopes to follow Bostons lead tonight. If the Canadiens are able to win tonight then Game 7 will be played Wednesday in Boston. The Canadiens had a 24-11-6 record as the home club this season. Boston had a strong 24-12-5 mark as the road team. While Boston is trying to come back from a 2-0 deficit to win a series for the first time in club history, Montreal has lost four playoff series in which it has led 2-0. The last time the Habs coughed up a two-games-to-none lead was in the 2006 conference quarterfinals against Carolina. This is the 33rd playoff series between these two Original Six rivals. It is the most two teams have faced off in the playoffs and Montreal has won 24 of them. However, Boston has claimed five of the previous eight series. Canadiens defenseman James Wisniewski is questionable for tonights game after an undisclosed injury caused him to see limited action in Game 5. Wisniewski has two assists in the series. ' ' '