Spieth out in front at Masters

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It hit the bank and tumbled back into Rae's Creek. Dustin Johnson is the world's top-ranked player.

"I feel like the game's in good form".

He finished with a base +1 after shooting a 73. It was mostly a reminder that Woods has a long way to go if he is ever going to slip on the green jacket again.

The Masters kicks off Thursday and goes on through Sunday.

Woods shot a one-over 73.

"I have four rounds to play", he said.

"Let's just kind of slow down", said Woods, providing the necessary dose of perspective.

"Just things happen in this sport and I'm going to try and control what I can control and that's about it".

Jordan Spieth of the US walks up to the green on the eighteenth hole during the first round of the 2018 Masters Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, USA, 05 April 2018.

"The crowds have been incredible", Woods said, adding, "They're really into it".

Woods nearly drove the green at the par-4 No. 3, pitched to about 10 feet and made the putt to set off a huge "Tiger Roar" at Augusta National. I will still not be too hard on myself.

Spieth's love affair with the Masters continued in round one on Thursday, as a stretch of five birdies between the 13th and 17th holes saw the three-time major champion surge into the lead. Last year, he shot two 69s, a 70 and a 71.

Feeling pretty comfortable in his first major start since the 2015 PGA, Woods got off to a decent start that had him 1-under after a birdie on No. 3. He doesn't know of anyone who has competed at the highest level since fusion surgery on the lumbar area of the back, much less anyone who could generate 129 miles per hour of club speed with the driver.

The day after he recorded an ace and then suffered a horrific ankle roll - a moment that most assumed would force him out of the tournament - Tony Finau got stronger as the day progressed on Thursday.

The 55-year-old birdied three of his first four holes of the round before any of the top contenders hit the course.

The bigger issue might be a dozen or more other contenders, all of whom earned their share of the hype.

'It's such a hard golf course to play catch-up on. "I only came up here the last couple of years just to have food (at the Champions Dinner)".

Garcia signed for a nine-over par 81 - tied with amateur Matt Parziale, the MA firefighter who gained a Masters berth with a win in the Mid-Amateur championship.

World number two Thomas double-bogeyed the par-three 16th and said his round had been ruined by four holes. A victory this week would put him in company with Woods by completing the career Grand Slam. Tee shot on 12 - right.

"It's the first time in my career where I make a 13 without missing a shot".

"I was just extremely happy that nothing was seriously wrong with my foot", he said.

"Definitely Tiger", Chris Neubauer, a 31-year-old construction manager from San Diego, said when asked who he was watching most closely in the opening round. Or maybe it doesn't matter.

Spieth dines on greens, especially Augusta National's.

"Hey guys, my shot line is right here", he said with a hand gesture, and everyone moved back a little more. If I'm under the radar or not, it doesn't matter.

Also for the record, it was the highest score posted by any player ever on the hole that played second easiest for the field, and part of an 81 that was the highest score ever shot by a defending champion in the opening round of the Masters.

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