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