Jordan Spieth of the United States plays his second shot on the 5th hole during day one of the 2015 Australian Open at The Australian Golf Club on November 26, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
Jordan Spieth of the United States plays his second shot on the 5th hole during day one of the 2015 Australian Open at The Australian Golf Club on November 26, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images) Mark Metcalfe

Spieth battles Sydney winds in Australian Open

AMERICAN superstar Jordan Spieth struggled with Sydney's treacherous winds as he launched his eagerly anticipated Australian Open defence with what he described as a "boring" 71.

The disappointment though was written on the young Texan's face after the cross winds blew away his early two-under start, leaving him five shots behind unheralded 26-year-old Wollongong professional Lincoln Tighe.

Tighe, who is not ranked among the world's top 1000 players, used his solid frame to steady himself in the blustery conditions, carving out a superb five-under 66 to be the first-round leader at the Australian Golf Club by one shot from the late closing Matt Jones (67).

Spieth's even-par 71 was in stark contrast to the stunning eight-under 63 he produced in the final round to capture the Open in spectacular style 12 months ago.

"The hard part for me was finishing even (par) when I was two under ... that was poor," said the American, who played alongside Victorian Geoff Ogilvy, who finished with a three-under 68 after looking like he had a special round going when four-under-par through his first six holes.

"I have to shoot under par tomorrow. I know I can strike the ball a lot better, but it is what it is.

"It was pretty tough guessing the side winds ... even par today felt like three or four under."

Tighe, who showed he was a player on the way up winning last year's NSW PGA at Riverside Oaks with a barnstorming closing 64, made light of the conditions with six birdies in his round.

He stumbled with a three-putt bogey late in his round.

Ogilvy, who's had a tough year, was one of the few players who handled the wind, as others around him crashed.

"It was a bit up and down but you knew it was going to be a tough day," Ogilvy said.

Ogilvy was lighting it up with four birdies in his first six holes before a double bogey on his 9th hole (18th on course) halted his progress.

He also bogeyed the ninth after finding the water.

Adam Scott looked on the job early until the Queenslander made a mess of the ninth hole, catching his greenside bunker shot too heavy and putting in the water. Fortunately he holed his comeback chip for a double bogey.

Last week's Masters champion Peter Senior was harsh on himself saying he was "ashamed and embarrassed" by his nine over 80.

He wasn't the only player who crashed.

LEADERBOARD

1. L.Tighe (Aus) -5

2. M.Jones (Aus) -4

3. G.Ogilvy (Aus) -3

3. T.Sinnott (Aus) -3

3. C.Yu (Tapai) -3

6. J.Choi (Sth Kor) -2

6. S.Leaney (Aus) -2

6. A.Presnell (Aus) -2


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