Spieth shines with a 64
The 21-year-old carded an eight-under 64, the lowest opening round at Augusta since Greg Norman in 1996, as he raced into a three-shot lead in just his second Masters tournament.
After the two-time winner on the PGA Tour birdied six in seven holes between eight and 14 to go eight-under, achieving the course record of 62 looked on with the par-5 15th still to come.
However, he bogeyed that – his only one of the day – but did go on to birdie the last to finish ahead of Charley Hoffman, Justin Rose, Ernie Els and Jason Day, who all finished on five-under.
Speaking afterwards, Spieth said: “I was very pleased. It's one of the better rounds I've ever played. I’m as confident as I have been these past few weeks and this year has all been about trying to prep for this week.
“This is round one. Jason’s playing well, there’s a lot of great names that aren’t going to go away so I just need to keep my head down, stay very patient and try and stay in it for the weekend.”
And Ian Poulter, who went round in 73, like all of us, was clearly impressed with the American’s play.
No sign of Tiger's short game woes
The 14-time major champion returned to tournament action for the first time in ten weeks yesterday and went round in 73, a score he seemed content with.
He said: “It was a good day, I felt good out there. I made probably two dumb mistakes out there but other than that the only thing I really struggled with was the pace of the greens.”
The 39-year-old made a mess of the ninth hole with his tee shot finding the first fairway and his second shot slamming into the trees. He made bogey and after good par saves on ten and 11, he found the water on 12 but a fantastic chip shot meant he escaped with just a bogey.
Woods’ over par round was his first on day one of the Masters since 2007, but was pleased with his much scrutinised short game in his round of three birdies and four bogeys.
“That’s the strength of my game,” Woods said. “That’s the way it should be and that’s why I’ve worked my butt off all those months to hit all those thousands upon thousands of shots to make sure it’s back to being my strength again.”
Muted start for McIlroy
In pursuit of becoming only the sixth player in history to win the career grand slam, McIlroy opened with a round of 71 and is in a group of 13 players on one-under which includes past champions Bubba Watson, Tom Watson and Charl Schwartzel.
The 25-year-old was one-over after a bogey at 11 but birdied the following par-5s to equal the first round score he posted in both 2012 and 2014.
He said: “It was ok. It could’ve been better, but could’ve been a lot worse. One-under par was a decent score.
“I was a little nervous, very excited obviously and I was just trying to tell myself to stay as patient as possible because four days of golf around here is a long time.”
Gallacher leading the Scots
Stephen Gallacher is in that clutch of players on one-under par after the first round in his second Augusta appearance. The 40-year-old made the cut on his debut last year and finished T34, and despite starting with a bogey on the first, he made birdies on the fourth, tenth and 15th, with his only other blemish coming on the 16th.
On his Masters debut, Amateur champion Bradley Neil closed with three consecutive bogeys to finish with a round of 78. The 19-year-old is joint-third out of the six amateurs, four shots behind Byron Meth who is on two-over.
Sandy Lyle, Masters champion in 1988, is currently on two-over on what is his 34th appearance at Augusta.
T. Watson aiming for record
At 65, the 2014 US Ryder Cup captain became the oldest player in Masters history to record a round under par with a 71.
He said: “It’s fun to be able to at least be in red figures at Augusta National. At my age, it’s a minor miracle.
“The course played pretty easy today and I took advantage of it. I played a lot of good shots and made some good up-and-downs.”
Watson can become the oldest player to make the cut with another good round tomorrow and he also tweeted about his round, saying:
The Masters day one :: Your thoughts
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