Spieth flirts with Masters record

Darron Cummings/APJordan Spieth reacts to his shot on the 15th green during the first round of the Masters.

Darron Cummings

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Jordan Spieth had everything go his way Thursday in the Masters, so he should have known how the shot would turn out without even asking.

In the lead and in the trees, he slashed a 7-iron toward the green and started barking instructions at the golf ball until he saw it bound onto the 14th green. He never saw it smack into the pin and settle a few feet away. He only heard one of the loudest cheers of the afternoon.

“What happened?” Spieth said to his caddie.

Something special.

With six birdies in a seven-hole stretch, Spieth flirted with a major championship record he didn’t know existed and atoned for his lone mistake with one last birdie putt for an 8-under 64. It was the best opening round at Augusta National in 19 years, gave him a three-shot lead and stole plenty of buzz from the Grand Slam bid of Rory McIlroy and the return of Tiger Woods.

Spieth, a 21-year-old Texan, still got into the Masters record book — as the youngest to lead after the first round.

An even more significant record was within his reach, and he didn’t even know it.

Spieth went to 8 under with that birdie on the 14th hole, and then he blistered a driver down the fairway on the par-5 15th hole, just 228 yards to the hole. That’s when he started thinking about a 62 because he had never shot 10-under par as a pro.

But he hit a hybrid over the green and wound up making bogey. Only later did Spieth realize that 63 was the best score in any major, and only two players had done at the Masters — Greg Norman in the first round of 1996 and Nick Price in the third round of 1986.

“So that’s a little frustrating,” he said before he paused with a wry smile. “But I’m certainly OK with the day.”

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