Masters Round 1: Jordan Spieth is locked in at Augusta

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Tiger Woods was so-so, Tony Finau started the day with an MRI and ended it in second place at the Masters, and Jordan Spieth is dialed in.

Here’s everything you need to know about Round 1 of the Masters and what to expect in Round 2:

Jordan Spieth, Masters Terminator

Here’s a stat for you, brought to you by Ben Coley: In 17 rounds at Augusta, Jordan Spieth has finished the day with the lead nine times. In 75 rounds at Augusta, Tiger Woods has finished the day with the lead … nine times.

Number nine came Thursday when Spieth absolutely demolished the back nine, carding five straight birdies (to go with an eagle at 8) to vault him into a two-stroke lead over the field.

Until he wins again at Augusta, Spieth will forever be exercising the demons of 2016, when he gave away an almost certain wire-to-wire victory when plunked one in the water on No. 12 during the final round. Friday’s 66, which included a bogey on 18, is the most positive step he’s taken here since.

Jordan Spieth reacts after putting on the second hole during the first round at the Masters golf tournament Thursday, April 5, 2018, in Augusta, Ga. (AP)
Jordan Spieth reacts after putting on the second hole during the first round at the Masters golf tournament Thursday, April 5, 2018, in Augusta, Ga. (AP)

Wait, what? Tony Finau actually played?

Yeah, it’s unbelievable. On Wednesday Finau dislocated his ankle celebrating a hole-in-one, popped it back into place and finished the Par 3 Contest. Thursday, he woke up, got an MRI in the morning and was cleared to play. A few hours later, he bogeyed his first hole and then carded six birdies to bolt to the lead.

If not for Spieth, Tony Finau, ankle dislocator Wednesday, would be your Round 1 leader Thursday.

As it stands, he’s two strokes back of Spieth, right where he needs to be.


What did Tiger Woods do?

Tiger did a bit of everything. He bogeyed a few holes, birdied a few, spent plenty of time studying the trees and, in the end, finished 1-over. It certainly isn’t the start he (or anyone) hoped for or expected, but it’s not a killer. He’s seven shots back, but at least he didn’t do what Sergio Garcia did.

What did Sergio Garcia do?

Garcia hit five straight balls in the water. Yes, five straight.

It was as brutal as it sounds, with Garcia spinning five balls onto and then off of the par-5 15th green. And just like that, the 2017 champion is out of contention.


Five questions heading into Round 2

• Will Tiger Woods rally into contention, miss the cut or somewhere in between?
• Can Rory McIlroy (-3) remain in contention for the one major he’s yet to win?
• Will Tony Finau’s ankle hold up under the grueling walk that is Augusta National?
• Can Phil Mickelson (-2) continue the moonlight magic?
• Will Jordan Spieth lap the field?

What time should you tune in Friday?

TV: ESPN 3-7:30 p.m. ET
Online streaming: Masters.com

Featured tee times:

9:36 a.m.: Tony Finau
10:31 a.m.: Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler, Matt Kuchar
10:42 a.m.: Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott, John Rahm
10:53 a.m.: Jordan Spieth
1:27 p.m.: Tiger Woods, Marc Leishman, Tommy Fleetwood

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