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The Masters 2016: Rollercoaster Rory McIlroy battles as champ Jordan Spieth sets pace

By Liam Kelly

Published 08/04/2016

Defending champion Jordan Spieth, left, helps 2016 Masters champion Danny Willett, of England, put on his green jacket following the final round of the Masters golf tournament Sunday, April 10, 2016, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Defending champion Jordan Spieth, left, helps 2016 Masters champion Danny Willett, of England, put on his green jacket following the final round of the Masters golf tournament Sunday, April 10, 2016, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, holds up his ball after saving par on the first hole during the second round of the Masters golf tournament Friday, April 8, 2016, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Masters champion Danny Willett, of England, is congratulated by Billy Payne, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club following the final round of the Masters golf tournament Sunday, April 10, 2016, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Master champion Danny Willett, of England, waves after winning the Masters golf tournament Sunday, April 10, 2016, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Masters champion Danny Willett, of England, gives a thumbs up while being driven in a golf cart following his win of the Masters golf tournament Sunday, April 10, 2016, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 10: Jordan Spieth of the United States presents Danny Willett of England with the green jacket after Willett won the final round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX ***
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 10: Danny Willett of England celebrates winning during the green jacket ceremony after the final round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 10: Danny Willett of England celebrates winning during the green jacket ceremony after the final round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy reacts after finishing on the 18th green during Round 4 of the 80th Masters Golf Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2016, in Augusta, Georgia. England's Danny Willett won the 80th Masters at Augusta National on Sunday for his first major title. He was trailing defending champion Jordan Spieth by five strokes around the turn, but stormed down the back nine to overhaul the American. Willett is the first Englishman since Nick Faldo 20 years ago to win the Masters and only the second all-time. / AFP PHOTO / Nicholas KammNICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 10: Jordan Spieth of the United States presents Danny Willett of England with the green jacket after Willett won the final round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 10: Jordan Spieth of the United States reacts after presenting Danny Willett of England with the green jacket after Willett won the final round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 10: Danny Willett of England celebrates winning during the green jacket ceremony with Jordan Spieth of the United States after the final round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
US golfer Jordan Spieth reacts on the 17th hole during Round 4 of the 80th Masters Golf Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2016, in Augusta, Georgia. England's Danny Willett won the 80th Masters at Augusta National on Sunday for his first major title. He was trailing defending champion Jordan Spieth by five strokes around the turn, but stormed down the back nine to overhaul the American. Willett is the first Englishman since Nick Faldo 20 years ago to win the Masters and only the second all-time. / AFP PHOTO / DON EMMERTDON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 10: Danny Willett of England celebrates with the green jacket after winning the final round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 10: Jordan Spieth of the United States shakes hands with Danny Willett of England after presenting him with the green jacket for winning the final round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 10: Danny Willett of England celebrates with the green jacket after winning the final round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
England's Danny Willett reacts wearing his Green Jacket at the end of the 80th Masters Golf Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2016, in Augusta, Georgia. England's Danny Willett won the 80th Masters at Augusta National on Sunday for his first major title. He was trailing defending champion Jordan Spieth by five strokes around the turn, but stormed down the back nine to overhaul the American. Willett is the first Englishman since Nick Faldo 20 years ago to win the Masters and only the second all-time. / AFP PHOTO / Jim WatsonJIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images
US golfer Jordan Spieth reacts on the 18th green during Round 4 of the 80th Masters Golf Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2016, in Augusta, Georgia. England's Danny Willett won the 80th Masters at Augusta National on Sunday for his first major title. He was trailing defending champion Jordan Spieth by five strokes around the turn, but stormed down the back nine to overhaul the American. Willett is the first Englishman since Nick Faldo 20 years ago to win the Masters and only the second all-time. / AFP PHOTO / Jim WatsonJIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images
The Masters logo is pictured during the presentation ceremony at the end of the 80th Masters Golf Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2016, in Augusta, Georgia. England's Danny Willett won the 80th Masters at Augusta National on Sunday for his first major title. He was trailing defending champion Jordan Spieth by five strokes around the turn, but stormed down the back nine to overhaul the American. Willett is the first Englishman since Nick Faldo 20 years ago to win the Masters and only the second all-time. / AFP PHOTO / Nicholas KammNICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 10: Danny Willett of England celebrates with the green jacket after winning the final round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
Danny Willett celebrates with the green jacket after winning the final round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta
US golfer Jordan Spieth presents the Green Jacket to England's Danny Willett at the end of the 80th Masters Golf Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2016, in Augusta, Georgia. England's Danny Willett won the 80th Masters at Augusta National on Sunday for his first major title. He was trailing defending champion Jordan Spieth by five strokes around the turn, but stormed down the back nine to overhaul the American. Willett is the first Englishman since Nick Faldo 20 years ago to win the Masters and only the second all-time. / AFP PHOTO / Jim WatsonJIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images
England's Danny Willett (R) speaks to US golfer Jordan Spieth during the presentation ceremony at the end of the 80th Masters Golf Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2016, in Augusta, Georgia. England's Danny Willett won the 80th Masters at Augusta National on Sunday for his first major title. He was trailing defending champion Jordan Spieth by five strokes around the turn, but stormed down the back nine to overhaul the American. Willett is the first Englishman since Nick Faldo 20 years ago to win the Masters and only the second all-time. / AFP PHOTO / Nicholas KammNICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland walks with Bill Haas of the United States on the second hole during the second round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 8, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays his shot from the second tee during the second round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 8, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy plays a shot during Round 2 of the 80th Masters Golf Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 8, 2016, in Augusta, Georgia. AFP/Getty Images
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays his shot from the second tee during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
A scorekeeper peers through a hole from behind a board during Round 1 of the 80th Masters Golf Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016, in Augusta, Georgia. / AFP PHOTO / Jim WatsonJIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Danny Lee of New Zealand and caddie Mike Hartford stand on the fifth hole during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
Ireland's Shane Lowry lines up a shot during Round 1 of the 80th Masters Golf Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016, in Augusta, Georgia. / AFP PHOTO / Jim WatsonJIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images
Graeme McDowell, of Northern Ireland, hits out of a bunker on the 10th hole during the first round of the Masters golf tournament Thursday, April 7, 2016, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Ernie Els of South Africa reacts on the second green during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Branden Grace of South Africa plays a shot during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Amateur Bryson DeChambeau of the United States plays his shot from the third tee during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: A detail of the Nike shoes Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland on the third hole during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Amateur Cheng Jin of China and Rickie Fowler of the United States walk during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Shane Lowry of Ireland putts on the ninth green during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Martin Kaymer of Germany reacts after putting for par on the ninth green during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Amateur Paul Chaplet of Costa Rica plays his shot from the second tee during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Amateur Romain Langasque of France reacts after putting for par on the ninth green during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Byeong-Hun An of Korea walks on the second green during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy tees off during Round 1 of the 80th Masters Golf Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016, in Augusta, Georgia. / AFP PHOTO / Jim WatsonJIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Matthew Fitzpatrick of England stands with his caddie Tom Ridley on the fifth hole during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: David Lingmerth of Sweden plays his shot from the second tee during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Paul Casey of England and caddie John McLaren walk during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Davis Love III of the United States reacts during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Denmark's Soren Kjeldsen plays a shot during Round 1 of the 80th Masters Golf Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016, in Augusta, Georgia. / AFP PHOTO / DON EMMERTDON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Ian Poulter of England pulls a club from his bag as caddie Terry Mundy looks on, on the fifth hole during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: A detail of the Nike shoes Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland on the first hole during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, chips to the second green during the first round of the Masters golf tournament Thursday, April 7, 2016, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy collects his ball on the 2nd green during Round 1 of the 80th Masters Golf Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016, in Augusta, Georgia. / AFP PHOTO / Nicholas KammNICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays his shot from the third tee during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy reacts after putting on the 2nd green during Round 1 of the 80th Masters Golf Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016, in Augusta, Georgia. / AFP PHOTO / Nicholas KammNICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images
US golfer Rickie Fowler hits out of a bunker during Round 1 of the 80th Masters Golf Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016, in Augusta, Georgia. / AFP PHOTO / Jim WatsonJIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 06: Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson of the United States putt during the Par 3 Contest prior to the start of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 6, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Amateur Sammy Schmitz plays his shot from the second tee during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
US golfer Rickie Fowler waits to play a shot during Round 1 of the 80th Masters Golf Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016, in Augusta, Georgia. / AFP PHOTO / Jim WatsonJIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Justin Thomas of the United States applies sunscreen on the second tee during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
US golfer Tom Watson hits out of a bunker during Round 1 of the 80th Masters Golf Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016, in Augusta, Georgia. / AFP PHOTO / Jim WatsonJIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Rafa Cabrera Bello of Spain prepares to play from the second tee during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Rafa Cabrera Bello of Spain prepares to play from the second tee during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland plays his shot from the second tee during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Billy Horschel of the United States plays his shot from the second tee during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Emiliano Grillo of Argentina putts on the second green during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Kevin Kisner of the United States plays his second shot on the fifth hole during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
US golfer Brandt Snedeker putts on the 2nd hole during Round 1 of the 80th Masters Golf Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016, in Augusta, Georgia. / AFP PHOTO / Nicholas KammNICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: A detail of the shoes of Keegan Bradley of the United States on the second tee during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Australia's Adam Scott hits out of a bunker during Round 1 of the 80th Masters Golf Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016, in Augusta, Georgia. / AFP PHOTO / Nicholas KammNICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images
US golfer Kevin Kisner lines up his putt during Round 1 of the 80th Masters Golf Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016, in Augusta, Georgia. / AFP PHOTO / Nicholas KammNICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Singer Niall Horan attends the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
US golfer Bryson DeChambeau tees off during Round 1 of the 80th Masters Golf Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016, in Augusta, Georgia. / AFP PHOTO / Jim WatsonJIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images
Wales's Jamie Donaldson hits out of a bunker on the 2nd hole during Round 1 of the 80th Masters Golf Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016, in Augusta, Georgia. / AFP PHOTO / Nicholas KammNICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Singer Niall Horan attends the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
US golfer Bryson DeChambeau watches his tee shot during Round 1 of the 80th Masters Golf Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016, in Augusta, Georgia. / AFP PHOTO / Jim WatsonJIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa reacts on the eighth green during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Jamie Donaldson of Wales lines up a putt for birdie on the second green during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
England's Justin Rose plays a shot on the 2nd hole during Round 1 of the 80th Masters Golf Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016, in Augusta, Georgia. / AFP PHOTO / Nicholas KammNICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Patrick Reed of the United States lines up a putt on the eighth green during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Justin Rose of England reacts after putting for bogie on the second green during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Zach Johnson of the United States reacts on the eighth hole during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Jordan Spieth of the United States stands on the eight green in the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
US golfer Harris English plays a shot during Round 1 of the 80th Masters Golf Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016, in Augusta, Georgia. / AFP PHOTO / Nicholas KammNICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Jordan Spieth of the United States applies sunscreen on the second tee during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Jason Day of Australia reacts on the eighth green during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Justin Rose of England plays his shot from the second tee during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Justin Rose of England talks to caddie Mark Fulcher on the second tee during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Justin Rose of England plays his shot from the second tee during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Chris Kirk of the United States tosses his ball to caddie David Robinson after putting for birdie on the second green during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Hideki Matsuyama of Japan walks onto the second green during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Jordan Spieth of the United States applies sunscreen on the second tee during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
US golfer Jordan Spieth lines up a putt on the 3rd hole during Round 1 of the 80th Masters Golf Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016, in Augusta, Georgia. / AFP PHOTO / DON EMMERTDON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images
US golfer Jordan Spieth lines up a putt on the 3rd hole during Round 1 of the 80th Masters Golf Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016, in Augusta, Georgia. / AFP PHOTO / DON EMMERTDON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images
US golfer Dustin Johnson hits out of a bunker on the 2nd hole during Round 1 of the 80th Masters Golf Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016, in Augusta, Georgia. / AFP PHOTO / Nicholas KammNICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images
US golfer Patrick Reed putts on the 3rd green during Round 1 of the 80th Masters Golf Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016, in Augusta, Georgia. / AFP PHOTO / DON EMMERTDON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Dustin Johnson of the United States plays a shot from a bunker on the second hole during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Jordan Spieth of the United States is reflected in the glasses of caddie Michael Greller on the fifth hole during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Dustin Johnson of the United States prepares to play from a bunker on the second hole during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
US golfer Patrick Reed hits out of a bunker on the 2nd hole during Round 1 of the 80th Masters Golf Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016, in Augusta, Georgia. / AFP PHOTO / Nicholas KammNICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images
US golfer Jordan Spieth lines up a putt on the 2nd hole during Round 1 of the 80th Masters Golf Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016, in Augusta, Georgia. / AFP PHOTO / Nicholas KammNICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Kevin Streelman of the United States plays his third shot from a bunker on the fifth hole during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Lee Westwood of England and his caddie Billy Foster react after putting for par on the second green during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Amateur Cheng Jin of China plays a shot to the second green during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Zach Johnson of the United States plays his shot from the third tee during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Honorary starters US golfer Arnold Palmer (L), South Africas Gary Player (C) and Jack Nicklaus of the US arrive to begin Round 1 of the 80th Masters Golf Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016, in Augusta, Georgia. / AFP PHOTO / Jim WatsonJIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Honorary starters Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player shake hands during the ceremonial tee off to start the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Honorary starter Arnold Palmer attends the ceremonial tee off to start the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 06: Gary Player walks during the Par 3 Contest prior to the start of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 6, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 06: Lee Westwood of England chips during the Par 3 Contest prior to the start of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 6, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
US golfer Billy Horschel and his daugher Skylar putt on the 9th green during the Par 3 contest prior to the start of the 80th Masters of Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 6, 2016, in Augusta, Georgia. / AFP PHOTO / Jim WatsonJIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images
US golfer Billy Horschel carries his daugher Skylar on the 9th green during the Par 3 contest prior to the start of the 80th Masters of Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 6, 2016, in Augusta, Georgia. / AFP PHOTO / Jim WatsonJIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images
US golfer Brandt Snedeker's son Austin follows his father to the 9th green during the Par 3 contest prior to the start of the 80th Masters of Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 6, 2016, in Augusta, Georgia. / AFP PHOTO / Jim WatsonJIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - US golfer Jordan Spieth blows the ball on the 9th hole during the Par 3 contest prior to the start of the 80th Masters of Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 6, 2016, in Augusta, Georgia. / AFP PHOTO / Jim WatsonJIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 06: Gary Player plays a shot during the Par 3 Contest prior to the start of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 6, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 06: Shane Lowry of Ireland, Chris Wood of England and Jamie Donaldson of Wales during the Par 3 Contest prior to the start of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 6, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 06: Justin Rose of England signs autographs during the Par 3 Contest prior to the start of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 6, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 06: Gary Player looks on during the Par 3 Contest prior to the start of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 6, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 06: Former United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice greets Jack Nicklaus during the Par 3 Contest prior to the start of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 6, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 06: Shane Lowry of Ireland and fiancee Wendy Honner react during the Par 3 Contest prior to the start of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 6, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 06: Jack Nicklaus walks during the Par 3 Contest prior to the start of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 6, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) ***BESTPIX***

Rory McIlroy showed Jordan Spieth that the defending champion is not going to have it all his own way in the 80th Masters at Augusta.

While the American powered to a stunning six under par 66, the Ulsterman is two under after a promising 70.

McIlroy signalled his intentions to become only the sixth player in history to complete the career Grand Slam with a superb eagle on the 13th to move to three under par and pushed on from there to move to four under with a birdie at 15. But bogeys at 16 and 18 followed.   

Follow the action: Live Masters 2016 - scores, leaderboard, tee-off times from Augusta Day 2 - Rory McIlroy battles as Jordan Spieth sets pace

McIlroy's fellow Ulsterman Graeme McDowell is on the fringes of contention after a level par 72.

McDowell was satisfied with his round.

"All in all, in the blustery conditions - the wind was tough - you had to pick your moments. I am happy with level par," said the Portrush native.

Defending champion Spieth assumed his customary position on top of the leaderboard with a brilliant 66.

Spieth, who was second on his debut in 2014 and claimed a first Green Jacket with a record-breaking performance 12 months ago, carded six birdies and no bogeys despite swirling winds on the opening day at Augusta National.

The 22-year-old, who is looking to become just the fourth player after Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods to successfully defend the year's first Major championship, led from start to finish after an opening 64 last year and was quickly into his stride with birdies on the third, sixth and eighth to move into the outright lead.

Another birdie on the 10th was followed by crucial par saves from the trees on the 11th and over the green on the 12th, before the US Open champion two-putted the 13th for birdie.

Spieth, who set records for the highest number of birdies (28) and lowest 36 and 54-hole totals in Masters history last year, understandably kissed his putter in delight after holing from 15 feet for par on the 16th.

And the world number two then finished in style with a birdie from five feet on the last to reach 29 under par for his nine competitive rounds at the Masters.

Assuming he is not overtaken, his leaderboard position after each of those rounds will read 12-3-1-2-1-1-1-1-1.

At six under par, Spieth led by three shots from playing partner Paul Casey, who carded six birdies and three bogeys in his 69, with last year's joint runner-up Justin Rose also three under with four holes to play.

Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson was alongside Rose after birdies on the first, seventh and eighth, with world number one Jason Day also three under thanks to an eagle from 10 feet on the second and a birdie on the fifth. Day finished level.

Irishman Shane Lowry (left) was in joint second after picking up a hat-trick of birdies from the second, although the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational champion was among the later starters due to face winds gusting between 30 and 35mph.

But the Offaly man coped with the conditions superbly to finish four under par.

"I started nicely and that settled me down. Then I was off and running. I am pretty happy. It was difficult - it was windy," said Lowry.

Ian Poulter is bang in contention after a three under par 69.

"That was tricky out there," he said. "I wanted to take care of all the par fives. The wind was swirling around the front nine, but I played lovely.

"I had two three putts for the day, that's a little frustrating because if I hadn't then I'd be even closer.

"But it has been good start - probably one of my best starts at the Masters."

First man out, Jim Herman, had a good start after securing the last place in the 89-man field by winning last week's Houston Open.

However, he then carded a hat-trick of bogeys from the fourth and signed for a 75.

World number five Rickie Fowler fared even worse despite recovering from a double-bogey on the first with birdies on the second, third and fifth, the 27-year-old running up a triple-bogey eight on the 13th and a double bogey on the 16th in an opening 80.

Belfast Telegraph

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