Monday 21 October 2019

Rory McIlroy starts well at Augusta but Jordan Spieth takes early Masters lead after blistering back nine

Jordan Spieth (left) and Rory McIlroy (right).
Jordan Spieth (left) and Rory McIlroy (right).

Rory McIlroy has got off to a strong start at the 2018 Masters but Jordan Spieth is the man to beat once again after a sensational back nine surge left him with a two-shot lead at the end of day one.

The American, who won a green jacket in 2015, carded five straight birdies from 13 to 17 to finish the day at six-under-par. McIlroy had a solid opening round, finishing in a tie for fourth after recording a round of three under.

The Northern Irishman, who only needs the Masters to complete a career Grand Slam, made the perfect start with a birdie at the first hole.

He finished the front nine in one under after a bogey at seven was followed with a birdie at eight, before further birdies at 13 and 15, both par fives, saw him finish with a round of 69.

McIlroy also made a number of testing par putts to preserve his score.

However, the opening round belonged to three-time major champion Spieth, who will be favoured to add a fourth this weekend.

Two birdies, two bogeys and an eagle made for a solid, if mixed, front nine before the Texan came alive on the back nine.

A birdie at the par 5 13th set him on a blazing run of five straight birdies, and although he bogeyed the last after an errant tee shot, Spieth now takes a three-shot lead over Tony Finau and Matt Kuchar into day two.

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