Spieth leads McIlroy by two

Jordan Spieth surged into the lead of the Australian Open after an opening round of 67 at the Australian Golf Club in Sydney on Thursday.

The American’s round of four under was enough to earn a one stroke lead over Australian trio Aron Price, Scott Gardiner and Andrew Tampion.

Spieth birdied the first and the fifth, before dropping a shot on the sixth. He picked up another birdie on the 10th before making three consecutive birdies from the 14th to the 16th, where it looked like he would extend his lead further. But it wasn’t to be, as he bogeyed the par four 17th.

Meanwhile, defending champion Rory McIlroy carded a two under 69 to leave himself two strokes shy of the lead.

“It was cold, windy and a little bit of rain here and there,” the Northern Irishman told ESPN.

“When I think of playing golf in Australia, it’s not the kind of day I expected. The wind was up early on, then it died, then got up again.

“Three birdies on the back nine, a nice one at the end. I’ll take anything in the 60s. I thought was a good score and puts me right there for tomorrow.”

Former world number one Adam Scott, who lost last year’s event to McIlroy on the final hole with a bogey, suffered a nightmare opening nine holes. After starting with a double bogey, he would bogey another three holes to make the turn at five over.

The Australian would recover slightly with two birdies on the back nine to finish with a three over 74, seven shots off the pace.