Published: Sat, April 07, 2018
Sports | By Toni Houston

Golf, Augusta Masters: Jordan Spieth on top, Tiger Woods remains in contention

Golf, Augusta Masters: Jordan Spieth on top, Tiger Woods remains in contention

After his only bogey at the tricky seventh, the Northern Irishman picked up shots at three of the par fives - the eighth, 13th and 15th. "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. And I fought hard to get it back in there, and I'm back in this championship.

NOTEWORTHY: Spieth has played 17 rounds in his Masters career.

"It's Round 1", he said.

"I had to dig down really deep inside", he said in 2016, "not just for my personal life but also my faith: How does this happen?"

"So, I imagine there will be plenty of times, if not from, you know, early on tomorrow that I don't lead this tournament anymore. It's riding momentum from last week". He finished his round with a bogey at 18 but still good enough for a two-stroke lead over Finau and Matt Kuchar heading into round two on Friday.

Kuchar played the last six holes in 4 under par, and McIlroy was one of seven players to shoot a 69 in his effort to become the sixth golfer to complete the career grand slam.

Amateur Doug Ghim holed out from the fairway on the 18th hole for his second eagle of the day, placing him in a group at 72 that included Italy's Francesco Molinari, Kyle Stanley, Charl Schwartzel of South Africa, Tommy Fleetwood of England and 1992 champion Fred Couples. Only two players have started farther down the leaderboard after the first round and won the Masters - Woods in 2005 and Ian Woosnam in 1991.

If he were to win this tournament, he said, it wouldn't even qualify as the greatest comeback of all time in golf.

Four-time Masters victor Tiger Woods finished the opening round one-over after hitting a 73 on his return to the majors. "I've played really well here and that's the work of the team and our plan. I got in a reasonable score".

"I thought it was ideal", Garcia said.

A few hours after Garcia played 15, Spieth birdied the hole.

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Soon after viewing his tee shot at the 12th end up at the water, Woods failed to get birdies at 14 and 16, the latter making a tremendous roar from the crowd.

But Woods, who entered into the tournament as a popular to amass his 15th important title after revealing striking type, stated his erratic operation was nothing more to do without being anxious at creating his return to a among golf's largest levels. I wasn't even flying high.

"I don't like dropping shots because then I have to get it back", Woods said. "I was very confident in what I was doing".

"I kept hitting good shots with the sand wedge", Garcia said.

Defending champion Garcia endured a nightmare on the par-five 15th as he took 13 shots after hitting his ball into the water on five different occasions. The previous high score on the hole was an 11. Granted, that is defending champion Sergio Garcia but, prior to past year, his Augusta record was pretty poor.

Woods almost drove the green at the par-4 No. 3, pitched to about 10 feet and made the putt to set off a huge "Tiger Roar".

Rory Ilroy was delighted with his quick start at the Masters after carding a 69 in his opening round.

The 28-year-old Finau collected six birdies and two bogeys during his stellar round.

"I was just extremely happy that nothing was seriously wrong with my foot", he said.

The cheers turned to gasps as Finau's ankle dislocated, sending him to the hospital for treatment and an MRI. I don't do well in domes or driving ranges.

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