Jordan Spieth returns to infamous 12th hole at Augusta National

Jordan Spieth returns to infamous 12th hole at Augusta National

Spieth is now a long way from serious contention.

Charley Hoffman could not match his opening-round 65 and slipped back to four under for the tournament after a disappointing 75, and Garcia - despite being temporarily the subject of a scoreboard error - joined him after posting a three-under 69. His brow would furrow.

Thursday, Spieth didn't hit a great shot, his ball starting right and carrying a bit long, though it did settle onto the putting surface, some 34 feet away from the cup.

Unlike last year's quad, which essentially cost him a second green jacket, this blow may not be fatal to his chances.

How does one of the best golfers in the world make a quad on a hole that is, historically, the easiest on the golf course?

Do you ever have any question about anything you wish to ask and get answer? He has much work to do in the coming days. The result was the highest scoring average at the Masters for a first round since 2007. He slapped a drive down the middle of the fairway, then chose to lay up short of the pond that protects the green.

On the par-5 15th, which very few players tried to reach in two, Spieth laid up with his second shot to 98 yards. A collective groan rippled through the crowd.

"You think of [the 15th] as a birdie hole, obviously being a par five", he said. Instead I was stuck in the 15 is a birdie hole mentality, and it kind of bit me a little bit. A year ago, he'd walked to the tee and dumped not one, but two balls into Rae's Creek. He was more surprised by the reaction his tee shot got when he hit the back of the green. "But anytime you shoot under par around here under any condition, it's a good score".

"I struck the shot well, I just hit the wrong club", Spieth said.

"I got off to a solid start. I used a club that would spin instead of a one that would maybe take the spin of".

"We're in a position now where we, I think, can go out there and win this thing and certainly make a run", the 23-year-old Dallasite said. But here, Spieth hit perhaps his most shockingly poor shot among his string of missteps.

"It was a really good day today at August National", he said. Spieth is the guy you have to beat, not the guy who beats himself.

Now, regular readers will know I'm jumping ship here having had a small-stakes, speculative play on Cabrera Bello yesterday, but it's important to acknowledge when you've made a mistake and opposing Mickelson at Augusta was exactly that.

Like many players, he deserved better. When he came to 12, he was fully aware of what was going through everyone's mind at Amen Corner as they watched him, even if he insisted it wasn't going through his. "At 16, I hit a 7-iron right on the flag and I made bogey from there". "I guess everybody else felt that maybe more than I did". Spieth clearly doesn't like it when people try to climb into his head, and he's unlikely to offer up any detail this time if it does. Spieth bogeyed on the 14th to go back to even, and everything went off the rails on his next hole.

Some other numbers: In 12 previous rounds at Augusta, Spieth had played the 15th in 8 under.

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