Spieth fires 64 to lead Masters with less than best form

Thu Apr 9, 2015 8:34pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - Jordan Spieth made a rousing start in a quest for his first major title on Thursday with an eight-under-par 64 that has only been bettered by two other rounds in Masters history.

Twenty-six players have shot a record 63 in major championship play but only Nick Price in 1986 and Greg Norman in 1996 have posted that at Augusta National.

The 21-year-old Spieth, however, did not think he played particularly well despite seizing a three-shot lead as the Masters' youngest first-round leader.

"I didn't drive the ball particularly well," said Spieth, who finished runner-up last year at the Masters without breaking 70. "Didn't strike the ball great (but) got some good breaks and capitalized on some really good breaks today."

The red-hot Spieth had a victory and two runner-up finishes in his last three events and rode that confidence into Augusta.

"I carried a lot of momentum into this week," said Spieth, who scaled down his practice to keep himself fresh for the week.

The tactic worked as Spieth showed off his all-round game to trump the field.

Not one of the longer hitters on tour, the cool-headed Spieth drove the ball with accuracy, hit the greens and showed off a splendid putting touch to supplant Spanish great Seve Ballesteros as the youngest player to lead after 18 holes.   Continued...

Jordan Spieth of the U.S. celebrates a birdie on the 18th hole to finish 8-under par in first round play of the Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Course in Augusta, Georgia April 9, 2015.  REUTERS/Phil Noble