Spieth shares lead after mastering 12th at Augusta


Jordan Spieth's nightmare at Augusta National continues.

Spieth sounded like a guy eager to show he can take a punch, and that just might be what it takes to win this kind of Masters.

Fitzpatrick will still fancy his chances of adding to last year's top-10 finish at Augusta National, a course he believes is ideal for his game, but he'll have to show some mettle to bounce back from the disappointment of seeing an excellent score turn into just a good one in the blink of an eye.

"You think of it as a birdie hole with it being a par five and unfortunately I still thought of it as a birdie hole today". It was his worst score at the Masters.

Fast forward to Thursday and Spieth was back at the scene, but will have been relieved to see his tee shot clear the water - even if the ball did land towards the back of the green.

That doesn't bode well for Spieth. "I really thought we had it going there and just made a club choice mistake but we're still in the tournament".

The 23-year-old two-time major victor was level par after 14 holes, gains at two and 13 cancelled out by bogeys at five and 14, but endured a nightmare few minutes to slide down the leaderboard.

Phil Mickelson reacts after making an eagle on the second hole. "I guess everybody else felt that maybe more than I did".

If Spieth can get that rancid 15th hole out of his head on Friday, he should be in good shape to make the cut and contend for his second Green Jacket.

"I think I learned a lot about the golf course today and the expectation for where to take advantage and where not to", he added.

"I was a bit surprised at how loud the cheer was", Spieth said, chuckling, "when my ball landed about 35 feet away from the hole".

"I didn't take my medicine", Spieth said about his struggles at No. 15. "Just as important as it was for me to hit it on the green on 4 and 6 and 16", he said. Amen Corner is always jammed but the biggest crowds had been cascading through the hills of Augusta following Spieth's group all day and everyone scrambled to find a spot for his first Masters tournament tee shot since it all came undone there a year ago.

The scoring average for the day was 74.978, almost a full shot higher than 2016's 74.1 and one and half more than 2015's tally of 73.4.

On the 530-yard, par-5 15th, named Firethorn, Spieth took a rather aggressive line for his third shot.

"I'm going to probably need to play something under par tomorrow, which puts a little bit extra added bit of pressure that I wouldn't have put on tomorrow", he said.

No question it was, but Spieth's series of mistakes-just as they were previous year on the 12th-were jarringly antithetical to his brand.