Sat, Aug 29, 2015 - Page 19 News List

Watson, Day shine, Jordan Spieth endures tough day

AFP, EDISON, New Jersey

Bubba Watson waves after making a birdie putt during The Barclays at Plainfield Country Club in Edison, New Jersey, on Thursday.

Photo: AFP

Bubba Watson fired seven birdies in a five-under-par 65 on Thursday, outshining playing partners Jordan Spieth and Jason Day to seize a share of the first-round lead at The Barclays.

Two-time Masters champion Watson was atop the leaderboard alongside Colombia’s Camilo Villegas and fellow Americans Spencer Levin and Tony Finau in the first of four events in the USPGA Tour’s season-ending FedEx Cup playoffs.

On a tightly bunched board, the leaders held a one-stroke lead over New Zealand’s Danny Lee, England’s Paul Casey, Scotland’s Russell Knox and Americans Jason Dufner, Cameron Tringale and Bryce Molder.

Another seven players were tied on 67, with newly crowned PGA Champion Day heading a group on 68 despite battling a bad back.

Spieth carded a four-over-par 74, just the third time in his past 33 rounds he has failed to break par.

“It was a very off-day,” said Spieth, who posted his worst score of the year in relation to par.

“A little bit of rust with wedges combined with some poor decisionmaking and it just came out of nowhere,” said Spieth, who called the round his worst “in years.”

After teeing off at 10, Spieth had two birdies to make the turn two-under, but he had five bogeys and a double bogey against one birdie coming in.

Day, who skipped Wednesday’s pro-am after aggravating a long-standing back injury on Tuesday, kept himself in the hunt despite some discomfort.

“There were a couple of swings out there that hurt,” said Day, who nevertheless had three birdies and one bogey in his two-under effort.

CZECH MASTERS

Spain’s Eduardo de la Riva hit a sensational 18th hole eagle to earn a share of the lead after the first round of the Czech Masters on Thursday.

At the 18th, de la Riva holed his long-range approach at the last to finish the opening day on seven-under-par 65, sharing the top of the leaderboard with playing partner Renato Parator.

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