AUGUSTA, Ga., Nov 15 (Reuters) - World number one Dustin Johnson parred the first hole to remain four shots clear early in the final round of the Masters on Sunday.

Johnson two-putted from 30-feet at the par-four hole to stay on his overnight score of 16 under par at Augusta National.

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The American's closest pursuers, Australian Cameron Smith, South Korean Im Sung-jae and Mexican Abraham Ancer also parred the opening hole.

Johnson, a perennial contender in the biggest tournaments, would double his major haul with victory, his only previous triumph coming at the 2016 U.S. Open.

Tee times on Sunday were delayed 10 minutes after fog enveloped the course, and it had not totally cleared when the leaders set off at 9.39 am local time.

But the sun was already piercing through and the fog was expected to clear by 11 am.

The wind was forecast to pick up for the first time all week, perhaps setting the stage for back-nine drama, though the course will continue to play relatively easy given the soft conditions after heavy rain in the week.

Officials have also dispensed with some traditional Sunday pin positions, which have often been placed in the easiest spots to facilitate birdie chances, particularly on the back nine.

But due perhaps to the soft conditions, which allow players to attack with their approach shots in the knowledge the ball will stop quickly, officials have mixed it up this year.

For example, the easy hole location on the par-three 16th has been dispensed with this year and a much tougher location on the back right-hand side of the green, just four yards from the fringe, has been placed.

However, the hole at the par-five 15th is in a relatively generous location, in the back-middle of the green, which should allow players to pepper the pin with their second shots and lead to good eagle opportunities.

(Reporting by Andrew Both, editing by Ed Osmond)

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