For very different reasons Vijay Singh and Tom Lehman were in the spotlight on the opening day of the 70th Masters at Augusta yesterday.

Singh began his bid for a second green jacket with a five-under-par 67 to lead by one from Rocco Mediate. Defending champion Tiger Woods had a level-par 72 and leading European in the clubhouse with a 71 was David Howell.

American Ryder Cup captain Lehman, meanwhile, managed only a 76 on the lengthened course - and then relived one of the scariest moments of his life.

Late on Tuesday night the former Open champion's car was shot at as he was driving to Augusta Airport to pick up members of his family.

A bullet hole was found in one of the rear doors and after another incident in the town a 26-year-old man was arrested and jailed.

"It was a very surreal experience," said Lehman. "If it had been coming away from the airport my three-year-old would have been sitting where the bullet hit.

"Every day you read in the newspapers about crazy stuff and I think he was full of Jack Daniel's. I was doing about 50 and he came past me at about 65 with the window down.

"I noticed that because it was cold. Then there was a huge, loud explosion. I flinched, then checked the windscreens and the wheels and when I got out I saw the bullet hole.

"I'm just glad they caught the guy. It was a very random thing and very random things happen in this world. But all's well that ends well.

"He shot at two teenagers as well and they followed him and got the licence plate."

Back on the golf course - at 7,445 yards now the second longest in major history - 2000 winner Singh came home in 32 with birdies at the 11th, 13th, 14th and 15th.

"I had a lot of chances and putted very well," said the Fijian.

"The ball is going a long way. I'd better not say that. They might move it back 50 yards next year."

Woods, almost inevitably, produced the biggest roar of what until then had been a fairly subdued crowd when he holed his eight-iron second shot to the 440-yard 14th for an eagle two.

But the world No 1, seeking his fifth victory in the event, followed it with a double bogey seven, going into the lake after his lay-out finished in a divot hole. A birdie on the last made dinner taste better, Woods knowing that he has never broken 70 in the opening round and done alright thereafter.

Darren Clarke sank a bunker shot of around 100 feet for an eagle three on the long second.

He then parred the next seven holes to turn in 34 and be in joint fifth place. But then came a double-bogey five on the 12th.

Luke Donald, third last year on his debut, had to be content with a 74.

Lee Westwood turned in level par, but then double-bogeyed the 10th and 14th, while Ian Woosnam, Paul McGinley and Nick Faldo shot 77, 78 and 79 respectively.

Faldo, now 48 and with his son Matthew as his caddie, said: "It's too difficult for me. I'm not playing well enough, simple as that."

Woosnam, Europe's Ryder Cup captain and paired with Lehman, echoed that, saying: "The course is not quite the same as 1991 (his winning year) and my body's not either. A 77 is not the end of the world, but it's a tough old slog out there."

McGinley had a tough time after his double-bogey at the first, going for a small gap in the trees, but hitting a trunk and shooting across the ninth fairway. He was 18th in his one previous Masters in 2002.

British amateur champion Brian McElhinney, from County Donegal, shot 80 and 1988 winner Sandy Lyle was also eight over after an eagle on the 15th.