Thirty-three players scored better than par in the opening round under perfect scoring conditions, but the ominous, gray skies opened up with rain in mid-morning and with wind pushing a storm front through Augusta's pine trees, players struggled.
Garcia began the dreary morning tied with Australian Marc Leishman for the lead after an opening six-under-par 66, but the Spaniard went in reverse with bogeys at the third and fourth holes dropping him to four-under.
Leishman was teeing off in the afternoon when forecasters predicted sunny skies would replace the gloom.
Also among the later starters was four-time winner Tiger Woods, who shot an opening 70 after teeing off under the watchful gaze of his girlfriend Lindsay Vonn.
Proving that good scores were still available, American Nick Watney (through nine holes) and Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen (through 14) were two-under-par for the day. Both however, struggled to 78s in the first round.
The trend, however, was in the other direction.
Big-hitting American Dustin Johnson, who shot 67 in the first round, bogeyed the first and third holes on Friday before bouncing back with a birdie at the par-three fourth to stand four under par.
Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, who opened with 68, also struggled after a bright opening with a birdie at the difficult first hole.
Bogeys at the third, seventh and ninth holes left the Spaniard on two under par at the turn.
World number two Rory McIlroy bogeyed two of his first three holes to slide to two over par for the tournament, while Australian Adam Scott, Masters runner-up two years ago, bogeyed three holes in a row from the third to slip to even par.
China's 14-year-old Guan Tianlang, who shot an impressive 73 on Thursday in becoming the youngest ever Masters competitor, parred his first three holes before posting bogeys at the fourth and seventh holes.
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