Golf: Sizzling Spieth sets 36-hole Masters record start

AUGUSTA, United States (AFP) - Jordan Spieth completed the greatest 36-hole start in Masters history Friday, firing a six-under par 66 at Augusta National to match the lowest 36-hole start in any major.

The 21-year-old American reached the clubhouse on 14-under 130 after two rounds, his bogey-free Friday putting him four strokes ahead of compatriot Charley Hoffman with four-time major winner Ernie Els of South Africa a distant third, nine strokes adrift.

Spieth, seeking his first major title after a runner-up Masters debut last year, opened with a 64 Thursday to become the youngest first-round leader in Masters history, only one stroke off the record low round in the Masters or any major.

Fourth-ranked Spieth broke the prior Masters 36-hole low of 13-under 131 set by Ray Floyd in 1976 and threatened the low 36-hole total in major history of 130.

Spieth missed a seven-foot birdie putt at the 18th hole and settled for becoming the fourth player to fire 130 at any major over the first two rounds.

The 130 mark was set by England's Nick Faldo with a 66-64 start to the 1992 British Open at Muirfield, matched by American Brandt Snedeker in the 2002 British Open at Lytham and equaled last year by Martin Kaymer with back-to-back 65s at the US Open at Pinehurst.