Augusta doesn't hassle the Hoff: Charley Hoffman leads The Masters

The 40-year-old has a four-shot lead after the first round

Augusta doesn't hassle the Hoff: Charley Hoffman leads The Masters

Picture by: USA TODAY Network/SIPA USA/PA Images

Charley Hoffman has described his first round of 67 at The Masters as "a little bit lucky".

The 40-year-old, competing in his fourth Masters, has never missed the cut at Augusta National. Two years ago, he finished in a tie for ninth place, which remains his best finish at any major.

Hoffman birdied nine holes on his way to -7, including four in a row from the 14th, to hold a four-shot lead going into the second round. William McGirt is in second place on -3.

On a day when only 11 players finished their rounds under par, Hoffman admitted he was in a place he had never been before in his career.

"Obviously going to sleep on the lead at a major championship here at Augusta National is not going to be the easiest thing. I look forward to it, and I look forward to the challenge the next three days."

Despite shooting a 65, Hoffman revealed he began the round hoping to shoot level par, such was the tough conditions at Augusta National.

"It's one of those rounds where you could shoot your way out of the golf tournament pretty quick. And obviously I was just trying to make pars, and while I was trying it make pars, I put myself in position to be able to make birdies. And I was able to convert those birdies and turn it into a fantastic round."

Although the round is potentially the most famous of Hoffman's career, he stopped short of calling it the best, comparing it to a round he shot on the way to winning a tournament in 2010.

"Yeah, only thing, the run I did at Deutsche Bank, that 62 in the final round was sort of similar where everything just started going in and ball going where I was looking, is the only thing that compares obviously. The stage, it was a playoff event where I did that and this stage is as big as it gets."

Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry are both well placed for the second round. The duo both shot a level-par round of 72, to be in a tie for 12th place.