Spieth in comfort zone at Masters

Spieth in comfort zone at Masters

Spieth in comfort zone at Masters

We remember Curtis Strange's balls in the water at both holes that led to Bernhard Langer's win in 1985, Raymond Floyd's unfortunate bogey at 17 that opened the door for Nick Faldo in 1990, Jordan Spieth's two shots that ended up wet at the par 3 12th that kept him from his second green jacket, missed putts by Ed Sneed and Scott Hoch at the 18th that resulted in playoff losses, and the list goes on and on. "It was quite insane, all the emotions that I dealt with overnight, but I was more than ecstatic to just be walking to that first tee and be playing in my first Masters".

"So it's just about playing the golf course for what you get, recognizing what the tendencies are this course brings and what my own tendencies are when under the gun".

"Hit a little fade up the left side", he thought.

But once doctors told him he could do no further damage, he was determined to play and was rewarded with a debut Masters round that included six birdies and two bogeys. I can just be relaxed going on to the first tee, not being too concerned about trying to get those birdies back.

Woods' bogey at 11 preceded what he called "a awful golf shot" on the 12th tee, a water ball that led to another bogey and a 3-over score two-thirds of the way home. Even as well as Spieth looked, it might be hard for anyone to pull away. This was the first big tournament he was expected to win in forever, and his tone and body language seemed more urgent than it did when he was positively thrilled to contend on the weekend.

He intends to be one of them.

The par-5s would be a good place to start.

Garcia also matched Tom Weiskopf and Tommy Nakajima for the worst score at a single hole in the Masters.

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It felt more like four bogeys. In the decade since, golfers have seen a modest increase of 27% in the amount of money they play for, bringing the increase during Tiger's career to a whopping rise of 373%, which means that current players can attribute about 75% of their current winnings to Tiger Woods.

Woods executed the shot exactly as he envisioned it, at least until his ball hit a man's chair on its way toward the green. Matt Kuchar and six others were tied at 3 under when McIlroy made the turn one shot back.

There was more trouble lurking around Amen Corner, where Woods was right off the tee at 11 and his shot from the trees hit a fan and dropped into the rough. Another wayward tee short at the 13th wound up in the pine straw, leaving Woods with no chance to go for the green.

The prospect of a potential Spieth vs Woods battle on the final day of the Masters would be something very special.

Spieth almost managed to pull away when he began the back nine with three tough par saves, ran off five straight birdies and overcame a wild drive left into the trees that left him some 250 yards for his third shot.

He was also feeling plenty of relief.

He said after the round that "73 is fine" and added that "it felt great to be back out there again". And I fought hard to get it back in there, and I'm back in this championship. "There's a lot of holes to be played".