Augusta, United States - Sweden's Jonas Blixt, making his Masters debut, and Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez shared the early lead Thursday at the 78th Masters, each standing three-under par at Augusta National.

Blixt, who could become the first Swedish man to win a major golf title, opened with two pars and birdied the third before a bogey at the par-3 fourth.

Birdies followed at the fifth and par-3 sixth before the Swede took a bogey at the seventh, but he responded with birdies at the the par-5 eighth and par-4 ninth.

Another birdie at the par-5 13th lifted Blixt, who was playing alongisde two-time Masters winner Ben Crenshaw and South Korea's Yang Yong-Eun, to four-under, but a bogey at the par-5 15th dropped him back into a share of the lead.

No first-time player has won the Masters since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979.

Jimenez birdied the par-5 second and added back-to-back birdies at six and seven to join Blixt on three-under.

Americans Fred Couples, Bill Haas and Kevin Stadler shared third on two-under.

Sapa-AFP