Jordan Spieth shares first round lead in his native Texas
Masters champion birdies last to card a 64 while Ian Poulter lurks a shot off the top
Jordan Spieth has a share of the lead after the first round of the Crowne Plaza Invitational in his native Texas. Photograph: Getty
Masters champion Jordan Spieth birdied the 18th hole to take a four-way share of the lead after a rain-interrupted first round at the Crowne Plaza Invitational in Forth Worth, Texas.
Playing in his home state for the first time since winning the Masters at Augusta in April, Spieth sank a 19-foot putt at the final hole to shoot a six-under-par 64 to join Kevin Na, Boo Weekley and Ryo Ishikawa at the top of the leaderboard.
England’s Ian Poulter and American George McNeill are tied for fifth place after carding rounds of 65 to lie a shot behind the leaders.
World number two Spieth began brightly by birdieing the first two holes and picked up another shot at the seventh to reach the turn in 32 shots.
He repeated the feat on the back nine by birdieing the 10, 15th and final hole and admitted that his past experiences at Colonial Country Club had stood him in good stead, especially when he missed the green on four occasions.
“I’m comfortable enough hitting my nine-eight-seven irons into the green right now,” he told www.pgatour.com.
“They’re so receptive that you can still fire them right at the flag, so I was able to lay back, where I maybe pushed it and got into trouble the past years.”
Earlier, South Korea’s Na birdied three of his last four holes to set the six-under-par target and continue the recent fine form which saw him lead the Players Championship after 36 holes a fortnight ago.
Subsequently Na believes he will add to his sole PGA Tour title victory in 2011 sooner rather than later.
“If I keep putting myself in that position, I’m going to get some wins,” he said.
Japan’s Ishikawa and 2013 champion Weekley, who was plagued by a stiff back, carded bogey-free rounds to join Spieth and Na in taking a share of the lead.
“Not really swinging at it real good right now because of my back,” Weekley said. “We just tried to manage it knowing that we couldn’t hit the full shots.”
Poutler and McNeill lead the chasing pack.
Poulter carded six birdies and a bogey to reach five under, while McNeill birdied his first three holes but could only manage another two in the final 15 holes to match the Englishman’s score.