Spieth soars, Day on heels at Augusta

Australian Jason Day is on a birdie blitz and chasing leader Jordan Spieth, who continued his hot form and surged into the lead late in the opening round of the Masters at Augusta National.

Day, the world No.5 Queenslander, posted five consecutive birdies to close the gap late in the round and is just two shots off the pace with two holes left.

Spieth, who credited his Australian Open win in November last year as the catalyst to his recent blitz, claimed victory in Tampa in mid-March and has back-to-back runner-up finishes in Texas in the lead up to the Masters.

The 21-year-old American, who also has further three top 10s in his eight starts, kept his foot on the floor on Thursday with an impressive eight-under 64 to be two clear at the top of the leaderboard.

A runner-up at Augusta last year, Spieth sits above Day who is six-under through 16 holes.

Major winners Justin Rose and Ernie Els and unheralded American Charley Hoffman entered the clubhouse at five-under 67 to be tied third.

Spieth flirted with an ultra special round when he had it to eight under through 14 holes, getting people talking of a major championship record 62 – but a bogey on 15 stalled his charge.

Day opened his round with seven straight pars before back-to-back birdies on eight and nine had him two under at the turn.

A bogey on the 11th could have derailed him but the 27-year-old made five birdies in a row between 12 and 16.

He put in a 10-footer on the 12th, just missed a long eagle attempt on 13, dropped eight-footers on 14 and 15 and then almost aced the par three 16th with an eight iron.

John Senden is the next best Australian at two under with a hole to play while 2013 Masters champion Adam Scott shot an even par 72.

World No.1 Rory McIlroy shot 71 and 14-time major winner Tiger Woods was one over with two to play.

Geoff Ogilvy (74) and amateur Antonio Murdaca (78) round out the Australian tilt.

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