Spieth starts bid for Masters redemption as Johnson's Augusta status still up in the air

Jordan Spieth has begun his bid for redemption at the Masters, while Dustin Johnson's fitness remains a doubt and JB Holmes and Scott Piercy moved into the early lead at Augusta.

The inclement weather that caused the cancellation of the traditional par-three contest on Wednesday had subsided in Georgia, but strong winds made life difficult for the early starters with 20 players shooting bogey or worse on the opening hole.

Spieth is looking to regain the title 12 months on from an implosion at the 12th, where he carded a four-over-par seven, that allowed Danny Willett to pounce and win his first green jacket.

The American is part of a strong group that includes two-time major champion Martin Kaymer and Matthew Fitzpatrick, who made his debut for Europe at the Ryder Cup last year.

World number one Johnson slipped on some stairs on Wednesday and sustained a back injury and the latest reports are conflicting over if he will be fit enough to tee off later in the day with the likes of Jason Day and Rory McIlroy also yet to begin their rounds.

Of the early starters, Holmes made a great start and birdies at the second and third left him two under through four holes.

American compatriot Piercy was with him atop the leaderboard. He recovered from a bogey at the first with three birdies in the next six.  

A cluster of four players were one shot adrift, including Kevin Chappell, who was two under before dropping a shot, veteran Sandy Lyle and Thomas Pieters.

The strong winds caused problems for several players. Louis Oosthuizen was four under through five, while Jim Furyk and Zach Johnson were three under and two under respectively.

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