CHORLEY golfer Nick Dougherty made a storming start in the US Masters ... but saw his challenge fall away with a series of bogeys.

Dougherty led the field in Augusta after two birdies inhis first three holes but he went on to register five bogeys to drop round down the field.

He finished the day with a two-over par 74, but still in touch going into day two.

Ian Poulter started in sensational style when a hole-in-one took him into the first-round lead.

Poulter, mocked for stating earlier this year that when he fulfils his potential "it will be just me and Tiger", became the 11th player in the tournament's history to make an ace on the 170-yard 16th.

The eight-iron shot and the crowd's reaction, which he said made the hairs on the back of his neck stand up, enabled him to post the clubhouse target with a two-under-par 70.

Fellow Englishmen Justin Rose, thanks to four birdies in a row from the sixth, and Luke Donald all had spells out in front as well, as did 50-year-old former winners Sandy Lyle and Ian Woosnam, while Tiger Woods' Grand Slam quest began with nine successive pars.

"I still think reaching world number two is achievable," commented Poulter after what he described as "probably one of the best rounds I've ever played".

He continued: "If I work hard and keep playing like this, who knows? It was an unbelievable buzz at the 16th. To hole it you need a little bit of luck, but I flushed it.

"There was an instant adrenaline rush - probably the biggest I've had."

Tiger Woods was one of the late starters.