- Associated Press - Thursday, April 5, 2018

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) - A brief look Thursday at the opening round of the Masters:

LEADER: Jordan Spieth birdied five straight holes beginning at the 13th on the way to a 6-under 66.

CHASING: Tony Finau and Matt Kuchar are two strokes behind after shooting 68s, while the group at 69 includes Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson.

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TOUGH GUY: Finau turned in a dazzling round just 24 hours after dislocating his left ankle while celebrating a hole-in-one during the Par 3 Contest.

TOUGH HOLE: Defending champion Sergio Garcia shot himself out of tournament at the 15th hole, where he dumped five straight balls into the water. He finished with a 13, equaling the record for the highest score ever on a Masters hole.

TIGER WATCH: Tiger Woods returned to the Masters for the first time since 2015 and shot a 73, leading him seven shots off the lead.

GRAND SLAM: McIlroy posted his second-best score in the opening round in 10 Masters appearances. He opened with a 65 in 2011 but threw away a comfortable lead that year with a final-round 80. McIlroy needs only a victory at Augusta National to become just the sixth players to complete the career Grand Slam.

KEY STATISTIC: Spieth took only 10 putts on the back nine.

NOTEWORTHY: Spieth has played 17 rounds in his Masters career. This was the sixth time he’s shot in the 60s.

QUOTEWORTHY: “I know as well as anybody that anything can happen at Augusta National.” - Spieth, whose bid for a second straight green jacket in 2016 ended with a Sunday collapse on the back side.

TELEVISION: Friday, 3-7:30 p.m. (ESPN).


For more AP golf coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Golf and https://apnews.com/tag/TheMasters

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