By: Kayla Mortellaro
Day one of the 2015 Masters is in the books.
Jordan Spieth from Texas stole the show by blistering the course with an eight under, 64, Thursday afternoon. The 21-year-old rewrote the history books by becoming the youngest player to hold the 18 hole lead at Augusta National.
Anyone who knows anything about golf understands a tournament can’t be won on Thursday but it can certainly be lost. Right now, Spieth, who finished runner-up to Bubba Watson in 2014, has positioned himself three shots clear of second place held by Ernie Els, Charley Hoffman, Justin Rose and Jason Day.
Spieth is seeking his first career major championship win but has now become the man hunted by the rest of the field.
After the round, world number four, Spieth admitted he got a few lucky bounces to help aid his career best round in a major championship. The one thing that isn’t lucky, is his ability to read the treacherous greens and pour in putts from everywhere. This season on the PGA Tour, Spieth ranks first in putts made per green in regulation with an average of 1.684. With the undulating greens of Augusta, speed control and the ability to knock in three to six foot putts with confidence and ease is imperative. Spieth’s putting prowess continues by only three-putting nine times out of 612 holes played so far this year.
Els, a four-time major championship winner is now 45 and currently ranked 84th in the world. Today, he turned back the clock to show flashes of brilliance. Joining Els is Rose and Webb Simpson as the only other players currently in the top 10 at the Masters to have previously won a major championship.
In the group of close pursuers sits Sergio Garcia who is in a tie for sixth at four under par. Garcia carries the stigma as the best player to have not won a major. In most circles, the operative missing word to the phrase is ‘yet’ to win a major. Garcia famously tried to take down Tiger Woods in 1999 at the PGA Championship as a young 19-year-old. He finished second to Woods and has gone on to finish second in 2008 and twice at the Open Championship in 2007 and 2014. Garcia’s best finish at Augusta is a tie for fourth in 2004.
In very calm, benign but soft and score-able conditions many other big-name players sit in good position after day one. Dustin Johnson and three-time Masters Champion, Phil Mickelson fired two under par rounds and defending champion Bubba Watson finished his round at one under. Joining Watson is world number one Rory McIlroy, who is vying for the career grand slam this week.
Woods, who hasn’t played a competitive round of golf in 62 days, stalked the grounds of Augusta National to the tune of one over par. Woods has been stuck on 14 major championship victories since 2008 and his last of four green jackets came in 2005.
The story of the 2015 Masters continues with day two action with the first tee-time at 7:45 AM ET Friday, April, 10, 2015. First round leader, Spieth looks to build on his lead with a 9:57 AM ET tee-time.