Forest back at Masters, playing with earlier leader Leishman

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) Padraig harrington attracted most of the attention. Jordan Spieth caused the most concern.

Opening day at the Masters a new wide-open feel until Spieth strike his stride Thursday afternoon. This individual saved three straight pars with this superb short game. He leaped off three straight birdies to consider the lead. And then he terminated an 8-iron at the pin over the par-3 16th, letting the golf club twirl through his hands when he walked away, knowing only it turned out another good one. It plopped straight down 5 feet away.

” You don’ t understand where it’ s going to turn out, ” he said, ” however, you know it’ s going to maintain a good position. ”

Spieth took only 10 putts on the back nine. He produced five straight birdies, a career great for him in the majors. Even a bogey on the final hole felt like the par the way he navigated out from the trees and limited the damage using a pitch that stopped inches through going in.

That offered him a 6-under 66 plus a two-shot lead over Tony Finau and Matt Kuchar.

It was the eighth time in their last 13 rounds at the Experts that Spieth ended a circular with the lead. Given his brief history at Augusta National – a victory, two runner-up coatings and a tie for 11th – his name atop the leaderboard will get attention.

Ditto pertaining to Woods, except that he has some getting up to do.

Hardwoods failed to birdie any of the par 5s. He was under par 1 only one hole. He hit the 9-iron into Rae’ s Creek. And only a pair of birdies over the last 5 holes enabled him to scuff out a 73 and at minimum stay in range, seven shots at the rear of.

” Seventy-three is okay, ” Woods said. ” Right at the end of the week, this will be a pretty loaded leaderboard the way the golf course is set up. They have got it right where they want this. It’ s really hard to run away from this, but it’ s also quite simple to lose it out there. ”

Spieth could have built a larger margin except for his wild first tee shot to the left and into the trees and shrubs on No . 18. Even so, their 66 sent a strong message.

” Absolutely, absolutely, ” said Kuchar, who shot thirty-one on the back nine. ” With all the round he’ s posted, the standard of golfer he is, he’ s upon some similar form. You can simply kind of see good things happening, plus particularly for him around right here. His record is spectacular about here. ”

Rory McIlroy , requiring only a green jacket to contend the career Grand Slam, also got notice. He played in the team ahead of Spieth, and McIlroy has been scratching our key par will save just to stay in range. He is at the large group at 69, the particular solid start McIlroy needed, specifically with how Spieth was heading.

It was the first time considering that 2011 that McIlroy broke seventy in the first round at Augusta.

” Jordan a new pretty strong finish there, ” McIlroy said. ” But this really is my best start in a few years. It’ s such a hard golf course to try out catch up on. If you start to pursue it around here, that’ h when you start to make mistakes. But to become right up there and have the ability to remain patient, because of the position I’ meters in, that’ s a nice luxurious I have over the next few days. ”

The best comeback? That may now belong to Finau.

On the eve of his 1st Masters, he made a hole-in-one on the seventh hole of the K?rester 3 Tournament, raced toward the particular green to celebrate and as this individual turned back toward the first tee, his left ankle rolled. Finau went down, the ankle contorted, and popped it into place. This individual wasn’ t sure he could enjoy until tests showed he has been cleared to play.

And played great, opening with a 68 despite a short par putt which he missed on the 14th hole.

” I was just incredibly happy that nothing was significantly wrong with my foot, ” he said. ” Quite truthfully, it was a pretty cool moment accompanied by probably one of my most humiliating moments and a scary moment simultaneously. It was quite crazy, all the feelings that I dealt with overnight, but I used to be more than ecstatic to just be strolling to that first tee and be actively playing in my first Masters. ”

It was just tough to rating, with the greens slick and company and several tough pin positions, generally toward the front of the greens. That will included the par-5 15th, with no one suffered quite like defending champ Sergio Garcia.

He or she hit his second shot in to the water, and then had his following four shots with a wedge move back into the water. He made the 10-foot putt – close to the exact same length of his eagle putt whenever he won last year – to produce a 13, the highest score ever documented on No . 15. He ended up with an 81, the highest score within the opening round by a defending Experts champion.

” It’ s the first time in my career exactly where I make a 13 without lacking a shot, ” Garcia said. ” Simple as that. ”

Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler were among those at seventy. So was Marc Leishman, who seem to played in the group with Hardwoods and Tommy Fleetwood and brought most of the day until a nick from behind the 15th eco-friendly came out too strong and didn’ t stop rolling until it had been headed down the bank and to the water, leading to double bogey.

Woods, dressed all within black, felt as though he performed better than he scored, and there is no sense of panic. This individual was tied for 29th. Just two players have started further down the leaderboard after the first circular and won the Masters – Woods in 2005 and Ian Woosnam in 1991.

In one sense, he was pleased to be playing. Just under a year ago, this individual was going through a fourth back again surgery.

” I actually played in a major championship once again, ” he said. ” But additionally the fact that I got myself back in this particular tournament, and I could have easily allow it to slip away. And I fought difficult to get it back in there, and I’ m back in this championship. There’ s a lot of holes to be performed. ”

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