Spieth shoots 64 for best opening round at Masters in 19 years, Noh tied-for-12th

April 9, 2015
Kevin Na hits on the second fairway during the first round of the Masters golf tournament Thursday, April 9, 2015, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Kevin Na hits on the second fairway during the first round of the Masters golf tournament Thursday, April 9, 2015, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson) 

(AP) — Jordan Spieth pulled off the unthinkable Thursday. With the best opening round in 19 years, he managed to make the Masters about a lot more than the Grand Slam bid of Rory McIlroy and the curious return of Tiger Woods.

Spieth was must-see TV with his 8-under 64 on a steamy afternoon at Augusta National.

“It’s one of the better rounds I’ve ever played,” he said.

That wasn’t the case for McIlroy, though his round wasn’t awful. The world’s No. 1 player saved par four times on the front nine and scratched out a 71. Woods had three birdies in his round of 73, and while it was the first time since 2007 that he shot over par in the first round of the Masters, it was looked upon as progress. Plus, his short game looked like it was close to being back to normal.

But the day belonged to Spieth, a 21-year-old Texan who at least got into the Masters record book as the youngest to lead after the first round.

Thirty players in the 97-man field broke par, but Tiger Woods wasn’t one of them.

Woods struggled to a 1-over 73 Thursday in the opening round of the Masters, failing to take advantage of the prime scoring conditions. There were plenty of promising shots — particularly in his short game — but a wild drive at No. 9 wound up in the adjacent first fairway, and he struck a pine tree with his second shot, leading to a bogey.

Noh Seung-yul shot a 2-under 70 to lead the Korean contingent.

Noh carded three birdies and two bogies on the front nine, but stayed even through Amen Corner and birdied the par-3 16th putting him in tied-for-12th with notables such as Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson.

James Hahn, winner of the Northern Trust Open in February shot an 1-over 73 with only one birdie and a bogey. He has played in a limited amount of tournaments since then after the birth of his daughter.

He is currently in tied-for-41st group along with Tiger Woods.

Fellow Korean American Kevin Na shot a 2-over 74 with a roller coaster of a back nine where he had two birdies sandwiched between four bogeys.

Bae Sang-moon also shot a 2-over 74.

Both golfers are tied-for-54th.

Tiger Woods chips to the 13th green during the first round of the Masters golf tournament Thursday, April 9, 2015, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Tiger Woods chips to the 13th green during the first round of the Masters golf tournament Thursday, April 9, 2015, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

 

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