Masters 2015 report: Jordan Spieth leads the field by three after a brilliant opening round of 64 as Rory McIlroy finishes on one-under-par

The report at the end of day one of The Masters championship

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Catch me if you can screamed Jordan Spieth after taking command with a brilliant 64 on the opening day at the Masters.

The remarkable 21-year-old comprehensively outshone history maker designate Rory McIlroy and the returning Tiger Woods, who has work to do to avoid a first missed cut of his Masters career.

Six birdies in seven holes helped Spieth to the top of the leaderboard on eight under par, three ahead of Justin Rose, Ernie Els, Jason Day and Charlie Hoffman.


McIlroy could do no better than a 71 on a day when he struggled to deal with the expectation surrounding his bid to become only the sixth player to win all four majors.

“I just kept telling myself to be patient. It was a tricky day. The wind was swirling a little bit, pin positions were tough. Anything under par I felt was a pretty good score,” McIlroy said.

Woods looked what he is, under golfed. The idea that he might come to Augusta on the back of 47 competitive holes in six months and somehow contend looked fanciful from the first hole, which he three-putted for a bogey.

After carding a 73 Woods’ challenge today is to stay within ten of the lead to ensure he avoids a first missed cut in 20 appearances at Augusta.

“I made two dumb mistakes (nine and 15) and struggled with the pace of the greens. We all did in our group,” Woods said.

Spieth capped the round of his life with a birdie at the last, rattling the cup from 18 yards. At 21 years and 8 months he is the youngest to lead the Masters, and was only one stroke from equalling the lowest score in major history.

Rory McIlroy finished his first round on one-under-par

Maybe that is today’s story. None can say he didn’t see this coming.  Spieth’s record coming into the Masters read 1st, 2nd and 2nd in his preceding three events.

“It’s really cool to shoot 64 at the Masters. I’d take three more of them,” he said. “The course was as gettable as I think it will be this week. To make nine birdies out here, you know, that's a dreamy round for me. It was a lot of fun.”

And a whole heap of pain for everybody else.