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Published: 09:07 | 19/2/16

Spieth has a day to forget

Jordan Spieth endured a day to forget as he carded his worst-ever opening round score to sit 16 shots off the lead at the Northern Trust Open at Riviera in California.

The world number one had felt confident going into the tournament but after back-to-back pars at his first two holes, the first of eight bogeys arrived on the par-four third. Although he recovered the shot with a birdie at the seventh, he dropped shots at the sixth, eighth and ninth to reach the turn in three-over-par.

A birdie at the tenth gave him a glimmer of hope but that was quickly extinguished as be bogeyed the 12th, 13th, 15th and 16th before a double-bogey six at the par-four 18th to leave him facing a weekend off.

"It’s just a day to forget. In the course of my career, I imagine it’s going to happen. Just unfortunate when it actually does," a philosophical Spieth stated.

"I just played really poorly from good positions off the tee, overdrew it when you can’t be left and I overcut it when you can’t be right. Just bad timing."

Colombia’s Camilo Villegas leads the way after a superb opening 63, although a bogey on the ninth meant he just missed out on tying the course record.

Chez Reavie, Bubba Watson and Luke List are three shots off the lead in a share of second, while Rory McIlroy is a further shot back in an eight-way tie for fifth.

McIlroy birdied the first, seventh, tenth, 11th and 17th holes to leave himself well placed to challenge for his first victory of the season.

"It was a solid round of golf. It's my first time here competitively and I just wanted to get off to a decent start. There were a few opportunities on the back nine, which was the first nine, and I took advantage of a couple of them," McIlroy said.

"I took advantage of a few chances I gave myself and 67 is a decent score."

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