Looking to recover from last year’s nightmare finish, here’s how Jordan Spieth fared in Thursday’s opening round of the 2017 Masters.
Jordan Spieth, who has finished second or better in each of the last three Masters including a victory in 2015, teed off early in the morning at 10:34 a.m. alongside Martin Kaymer and Matthew Fitzpatrick. The 23-year-old was returning to Augusta National for the first time since last year’s collapse in the final round, in which he surrendered a five-stroke lead on the back nine.
After opening up with a birdie on the par-5 second hole, Spieth bogeyed on the fifth to lose any early momentum. Spieth went on to par the next four holes to finish the front nine at even, putting him right in the mix with nobody on the leaderboard really running away from the pack.
The big storyline of Round 1 was Spieth’s first attempt at the par-3 12th, where he lost his lead in 2016 with a quadruple bogey. Spieth hit the green on his tee shot and two-putted to keep his streak of pars alive and help erase any doubts about the hole he carried over from last year’s meltdown.
That initially appeared to get Spieth going a bit, as he birdied the par-5 13th hole. Again, Spieth couldn’t get a run of good holes going, as he recorded a bogey on 14 to drop back down to even for the day.
Once again, Spieth was hurt by a meltdown hole, as he recorded a woeful nine on the par-5 15th. Spieth was able to recover quickly with a birdie on the par-3 16th to finish at +3 overall, tied for 41st place and a full ten strokes behind leader Charley Hoffman.
With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson out due to a back injury and none of the other favorites turning in a dominant first round, Spieth isn’t done yet, but he has a ton of work to do over the next three days and obviously can’t afford another quadruple-bogey. Here’s where Spieth stands in relation to the leaderboard some other notable golfers after Round 1
1. Charley Hoffman -7
2. William McGirt -3
3. Lee Westwood -2
T4. Russel Henry -1
T4. Kevin Chappell -1
T4. Andy Sullivan -1
T4. Phil Mickelson -1
T4. Justin Rose -1
T4. Jason Day -1
T4. Sergio Garcia -1
T12. Rory McIlroy E
T26. Bubba Watson +2
T41 Jordan Spieth +3
T41 Adam Scott +3
T41 Brant Snedeker +3
T66. Zach Johnson +5
Spieth will tee off his second round at 1:41 p.m. Eastern tomorrow with Kramer, who struggled en route to a +6 on Thursday, and Fitzpatrick, who held the lead earlier before a double-bogey on 18 dropped him to -1 for the day.