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The Tour Report

April 5 2012

8:15 PM

A good walk for Hanson

By  Melanie Hauser, PGATOUR.COM contributor AUGUSTA, Ga.  -- It was a good walk . . . that wasn’t the least bit spoiled. Peter Hanson stopped short of calling it a blast, but it wasn’t far from it. Try an opening 68, which left him one shot behind Masters first-round leader Lee Westwood, not to mention two shots better than playing partners two-time 2012 winner Hunter Mahan (72) and two-time Masters champ Phil Mickelson (74). Playing in the final group of the day, Hanson, who missed the cut in his Masters debut in 2011, got hot on the back nine with birdies at 11 (20 feet), 12 (30 feet) and 17 (six feet) to share second place with Louis Oosthuizen. “I kind of walked pretty close to Phil through all of these tight, roped areas, in between greens and tees,’’ said Hanson, who has three top-10s this season. “Kind of just enjoying it. “The crowd, they love Phil, and I can pretty much understand why, being such a fantastic player and won here three times. So it was kind of nice to get a little bit of that.  Even if it was not meant for me, I was kind of taking it on a bit and kind of enjoyed it.’’ Hanson was paired with Tiger Woods in Abu Dhabi, which gave him an inkling of what it’s like to play in a star-studded group. But that wasn’t at Augusta National in the first major of the year. “This golf course, it's scary one way, because if you go out here, you're not playing well, and if you try to avoid making bogeys like I maybe did last year when I got here, it comes up and bites you pretty fast,’’ Hanson said. “My mind‑set today was try be to really aggressive off the tee and be pretty aggressive into the greens, and I managed to do that all the way around and I think that helped me a lot.  Like you said, if you start thinking about who you are playing with and where you are at and playing Major Championships, then it's going to come back to you pretty quick. “I thought mentally I was very strong today, so that was nice.”