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Rory McIlroy makes solid start at the Masters as Jordan Spieth leads

Rory McIlroy reacts after a birdie at his opening hole on day one of the Masters at Augusta
Martin McGoran

RORY McIlroy made a good start with a round of 69 in his latest bid to complete the Grand Slam of major victories at the US Masters at Augusta, but it was a familiar name at the top of the leaderboard after the first day's action.

Jordan Spieth, winner once and runner-up twice in his four visits to Augusta, opened up with a round of six-under 66, which ended with five consecutive birdies between the 13th and 17th and a bogey at the 18th and he leads by two from compatriots Tony Finau and Matt Kuchar.

McIlroy is in a group of seven players one further shot back on three-under, alongside European duo Henrik Stenson and Rafa Cabrera-Bello; Americans Patrick Reed and Charley Hoffman; Canada's Adam Hadwin and Haotong Li of China.

The drama in the early part of the day centred around defending champion Sergio Garcia, whose round of 81 included a 13 at the par five 15th hole, where he put five balls in the water and effectively ended his hopes of a successful defence of his title.

Tiger Woods went round in one-over par 73, the same score as world number one Dustin Johnson and dual champion Bubba Watson.

 

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