But the crowds that lined the corridors of Nos.
The wind made the course so tough Thursday that Spieth had plenty of time to recover.
Just after Spieth managed to salvage par after flirting with the water with his approach of No. 11, the onlookers grew restive. That led to another poor shot, a second wet ball and a lost opportunity to become the fourth player to win back-to-back Masters.
That put him at 4 over with three holes to play.
On the 12th hole past year, a poor swing caused him to hit his tee shot into Rae's Creek.
In other words, Spieth was saying he needed to hit the ball as if the hole was ten yards father than the actual distance.
"I guess everybody else felt maybe more than I did on it", he said. But on the fifth hole of his second round of last year's Masters, he made the first of four double bogeys or worse that he would make that week.
The second-round 69 ended a string of four consecutive over-par rounds for Spieth over the past two Masters.
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There was water involved again - his third shot, after laying up, spinning back viciously into the black, inky pond at the front of the green. He chipped again - his sixth shot - and very almost hit the ball back into the water he had originally found with his third shot.
"I was stuck in the '15th-is-a-birdie-hole mentality, ' and it kind of bit me a little bit", he said.
"I was a bit surprised at how loud the cheer was", Spieth said, chuckling, "when my ball landed about 35 feet away from the hole".
Spieth found water with his third shot, and then sailed his next one over the green before chipping on and three-putting for a nine after going birdie-bogey over his previous two holes. The 15th is a whole new story of pain for Spieth who racked up a nine on that par five.
"Very hard", Spieth said. "I tried not to do that", he said, "and I made bogey".
"We're in a position now where we, I think, can go out there and win this thing and certainly make a run", the 23-year-old Dallasite said. In addition, he would finish the hole by hitting for par this time around after producing a quadruple bogey at the 2016 Masters Tournament.
After a day of wobbles, but no significant falls, he was 1-under and, suddenly, tied for the first-round Masters lead.