Spieth's 'demons' still lurk after Masters masterclass

07 April, 2018, 00:55 | Author: Elena Meyer
  • Martha Burk Chairwoman of the National Council of Women's Organizations talks with the media during Masters week in 2003

Rory McIlroy is off to a quick start at The Masters after an opening round 69.

Spieth's run of five birdies - from the 13th to the 17th - moved him into pole position, although an up-and-down par save on the 18th hole, after wickedly pulling his tee-shot left into trees, nearly provided as much satisfaction to the American.

"I thought it was ideal", Garcia said.

Woods received into red amounts when he drained a 10-foot birdie putt at the par-four next hole then compelled consecutive bogeys at the fourth and fourth holes.

But the biggest story of the round was Garcia. Well amateur Doug Guim will be taking not one, but two crystal glasses home with him after eagling the par-5 thirteenth hole in three, the senior at the University of Texas holed his approach at the 18th hole to get an eagle two (see below). "I'm not surprised that someone shot that", said McIlroy of Spieth's 66, which means the young Texan has now led after nine of the 17 tournament rounds he has played at Augusta. I don't know if you call it risk/reward, but the shot value there, a good shot sometimes - a lot of times - turns out great.

"This course is a lot easier to play if you feel like you can just hit the center of the greens and wait for your chances". "I don't know, you know, it's one of those things. So it's just unfortunate, but that's what it is". Garcia shot an 8-over 13 on the hole.

He has had an encouraging season to date, finishing joint second and tied fifth in his most recent PGA Tour events last month. My last two rounds, competitive rounds, have been awfully special, with a hole-in-one and then just over two feet (Thursday). Given his short history at Augusta National - a victory, two runner-up finishes and a tie for 11th - his name atop the leaderboard gets attention. I'm not going to get ahead of myself.

Garcia matched previous high scores carded by Tom Weiskopf at No. 12 in 1980 and by Tsuneyuki "Tommy" Nakajima at No. 13 in 1978.

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McIlroy, seeking the Masters title to complete the career Grand Slam of majors, dropped only one shot and birdied the two par fives on the back nine, before making crucial par saves at the 16th and 17th, only the second time he has broken 70 on day one at Augusta. "Jordan had a pretty strong finish there".

Tiger Woods, unable to make birdies on the Augusta National par-5 holes he has dominated over the years, grinded his way through his long-awaited Masters comeback round Thursday.

"I had some really tricky putts today, putts that were six feet and outside the hole, and to make some of those in the middle of the hole was a confidence boost", Spieth said.

Woods' first Masters since 2015 dominated the build-up to the tournament but he failed to produce the fireworks many had hoped for and the former world number one scrapped his way to a one-over 73 to sit four behind the clubhouse leaders. I made some clutch putts for par.

Spieth almost managed to pull away when he began the back nine with three tough par saves, ran off five straight birdies and overcame a wild drive left into the trees that left him some 250 yards for his third shot.

The 14-time major victor grabbed his first birdie with a delicate downhill putt at the third. That brings the classy quintet on -2 into it but historically, the plethora of world-class players further back have too much to do, even if some of their odds are very tempting. But he drained a sweeping, super-fast, downhill putt for another birdie.

Danny Willett, victor two years ago, and fellow Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick, were both five over par but recovered two shots to post rounds of 75, Willett making three birdies on the back nine.

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