Augusta: Star Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri carded one-under 71 to share the 18th position after the first round in the Augusta Masters at the Augusta National Golf Club here on Thursday.
After playing the first seven holes without any fault, Lahiri got a birdie on the par-five eighth hole. But his effort was undone by a bogey in the following par-four hole.
Anirban Lahiri of India watches a tee shot on the fourth hole during the first round of the 2015 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 9, 2015 in Augusta, Georgia. Pic/PTI
On the back nine, Lahiri, current Asian Tour No.1, played more cautiously and had a flawless round that got a lift when he birdied par-three 16th.
It helped him get a first round score of 71. The 27-year-old now shares the spot with 12 other golfers, including World No.1 Rory McIlroy, defending champion Bubba Watson and eight-time Major champion Tom Watson.
The 65-year-old Tom, who won the Masters in 1977 and 1981, also became the oldest player to shoot a bogey-less round in the history of the tournament.
Young Texan Jordan Spieth put on a near-historic display of shot-making firing an eight-under 64, one stroke off the major championship record, to take a three-shot lead.
He fired nine birdies on the second, fourth, eighth, ninth, 10th, 12th, 13th, 14th and 18th, while a bogey on the par-five 15th stopped him from scoring a record-tying 63.
One year after tying for second place in his first appearance at Augusta, Spieth took a three-stroke lead over four-time Major winner Ernie Els, Justin Rose, Charley Hoffman and Jason Day.
In all, 18 players shot under par.
"Just kind of in the zone. That's one of the better rounds I've played. I got off to a good start, which is sometimes the hardest part of this Tournament," Spieth told masters.com.
"It’s a really fun round to shoot 64 at Augusta National. It's pretty cool. I'd take three more," he added.
Spieth, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour, has soared to No. 4 in the Official World Golf Rankings on the strength of six top-seven performances in his last eight events.
In the last three starts, Spieth won the Valspar Championship, finished second at the Valero Texas Open, and tied for second in a playoff last week at the Shell Houston Open.
Meanwhile, the most anticipated story going into the first round was how Tiger Woods would perform in his return from a two-month break from the PGA Tour.
Woods, who has won 14 Major titles, showed no signs of the chipping woes that led him to declare that his game was not tournament ready.
Displaying a much-improved short game but a still-erratic driver, Woods shot a one-over 73 and said he took strength from the round.