Sport

Spieth had no idea how close he was to Masters record

SportBy Karl Doyle
Spieth has lead the way at Augusta. (Inset) Harrington, McIlroy and McDowell are staying in touch but have a lot of work to do
Spieth has lead the way at Augusta. (Inset) Harrington, McIlroy and McDowell are staying in touch but have a lot of work to do

Jordan Spieth did not know how close he was to equalling the course record at Augusta National, but the 21-year-old knows precisely what it would mean to win the Masters on Sunday.

"Everyone wants to win this golf tournament," Spieth said after a stunning 64 gave him a three-shot lead over Jason Day, Justin Rose, Ernie Els and Charley Hoffman.

"It leaves your name in history and a legacy, and the hardest thing to do is to put that behind you when you start on the first hole, I think."

Spieth was eight under par after 14 holes and in sight of the course record of 63 and even the first round of 62 or better in men's major championship history.

However, the world number four bogeyed the 15th after hitting his approach over the green and three-putting from long range before a birdie on the 18th saw him finish eight under par.

Spieth, who held a two-shot lead after seven holes of the final round 12 months ago before finishing second behind Bubba Watson, has finished first, second and second in his last three tournaments.

"I think I certainly thought about what I'm expecting coming in," he added. "It's tough to sleep on a lead here and I saw that last year. But at the same time, I'm a lot more confident in the way that I can handle certain situations, and the patience level I can have, having closed a couple of events out since and seeing some putts go in obviously today.

"It is tough to kind of bring expectations down and just kind of have a free flow out there. But we did a good job of it today. I am just going to try to take the same mental attitude into the next couple days."

The Irish challenge was lead by World No.1 Rory McIlroy on one under, with fellow Northern Irishman Graham McDowell, who is recovering from injury, also on that score.

Padraig Harrington’s steady round sees him heading into Day Two on level par, with Darren Clarke on two over and Shane Lowry one further back.