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Saturday 3 December 2016

Jordan Spieth breaks Masters record to storm clear in Augusta

Phil Casey

Published 10/04/2015 | 20:34

Jordan Spieth of the US waves to patrons at the 18th hole during Round 2 of the 79th Masters Golf Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2015, in Augusta, Georgia. Brooks Koepka of the US watches at right. AFP PHOTO/JIM WATSONJIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images
Jordan Spieth of the US waves to patrons at the 18th hole during Round 2 of the 79th Masters Golf Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2015, in Augusta, Georgia. Brooks Koepka of the US watches at right. AFP PHOTO/JIM WATSONJIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

Jordan Spieth carded the lowest halfway total in Masters history to take a massive step closer to a first major title at Augusta National today.

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Spieth added a second round of 66 to his opening 64 to post a total of 130, one shot better than the previous best set by Ray Floyd in 1976.

That also equalled the 36-hole record in any major shared by Nick Faldo, Brandt Snedeker and Martin Kaymer, and at 14 under is the lowest 36-hole score in relation to par.

Faldo was 12 under on his way to winning the 1992 Open at Muirfield, with Snedeker and Kaymer 10 under at the 2012 Open and 2014 US Open respectively.

Spieth was runner-up here last year and came into the week having finished first, second, and second in his last three events.

"I have been on my game and coming to a place that I love," Spieth said. "It's special to be here and just be in the tournament let alone out front.

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 10: Jordan Spieth of the United States walks across the 15th green during the second round of the 2015 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2015 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 10: Jordan Spieth of the United States walks across the 15th green during the second round of the 2015 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2015 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

"I just need to keep my head down, set a goal for myself. It's definitely going to be more challenging and I am going to have to be aware of that and be okay with a bogey or two."

At 14 under par Spieth was four ahead of fellow American Charley Hoffman, who had two holes to play, with the likes of Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods reduced to the status of also-rans.

Woods was three under for his round and two under overall in just his third start of the year, the 14-time major winner having recorded a career-worst 82 in the first and withdrawing through injury after 11 holes of the second.

World number one McIlroy was bidding to become the sixth player to complete the career grand slam, but found himself 12 off the pace as he set off and started his second round with a bogey on the first and birdie on the second.

Ernie Els was refusing to give up hope of catching Spieth despite being nine adrift after adding a 72 to his opening 67.

"Jordan is playing unbelievably well and obviously we're all watching the leaderboard," Els said. "But we know how far there is to go. Front runners tend to do well here, but there have been some really good comebacks, so it's a big weekend ahead.

"He's not thinking about anything right now and that's a great place to be at.

"I'd really like to shoot two 67s and see where that leaves me. That'd make me 15 under and that's about as good as a man can do.

"If it keeps blowing like this and the nerves get going... I don't want to wish badly on anyone but if he takes his foot off the gas or has a bad break here and there, it really gives you thought of catching him."

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