“Fairly run of the mill round for me at the Masters, I surmise,” Jordan Spieth said with a giggle.
A triple bogey from the trees, a fortunate chip-in for eagle and a lot of very much struck shots amounted to a 1-under 71 for Spieth in the opening round at Augusta National.
Cruising along at 1 under for the day, Spieth blew his drive into the correct trees on the ninth hole. Maybe than pitch out into the fairway, he chose to face some challenge – attempting to keep his methodology shot low, through the trees, and pursue it up close to the green. All things being equal, his shot ricocheted off a tree and wound up behind him. From that point, he came up short of the green, pitched to 5 feet and three-putted for triple.
“Live and learn, I think,” Spieth said. “It’s tough to swallow, because knowing the golf course is very difficult and I was 1 under par, punch it to the fairway, you make a bogey, you’re at even par at the turn, that’s a pretty good score. But unfortunately, I’m still in that 18-under mode from last week” – his winning total at the Valero Texas Open, where he ended a nearly four-year winless drought – “and trying to capitalize on and gain every stroke I can.
“Luckily, I’ve kind of gotten away with that, and I’m still in the tournament.”
In reality, Spieth ricocheted back with a 15-footer for birdie on 10 and afterward added four additional standards to consistent himself. On the standard 5 fifteenth, he flew a 6-iron into the center of the green – “I can’t reveal to you the last time I had a 6-iron into that opening” – however turned it over the back. His ball settled down marginally in the periphery, and his wedge ricocheted into the ball.
“I was stunned by the strike,” he said.
His pitch didn’t turn, started dashing down the slant, building up momentum, and afterward collided with the pin for an impossible eagle-3.
“I mean, the idea is to hit it on-line, and that was very, very lucky,” he said. “Probably the luckiest break I’ve ever gotten out here, if not anywhere, because that was at least a three-shot break. As many shots as I hit there were a yard off earlier in the round, it was more than made up for there.”
Two standards to close gave Spieth a 71 in his bid to win a subsequent green coat. He’s six shots behind pioneer Justin Rose.
“I’m glad the course is firm if you’re six back after one round,” Spieth said. “So I’m not really going to be focused on Rosey. That’s a heck of a round. I’m just going to assume that this golf course is going to be just as challenging going forward and pick your spots.”