Jordan Spieth battled a multitude of miscues on Friday at The Open, having to rely heavily on the flat stick to piece together a 4-under 67.
By Bailey Mosier
There are crappy rounds and there are scrappy rounds. Jordan Spieth's second round at The 148th Open was the latter.
He scratched and clawed his way around Royal Portrush, relying heavily on his short game to bail him out of a multitude of miscues in both directions.
Spieth began the day at 1 under, four shots back of overnight leader J.B. Holmes. He made the turn in 32, thanks to a four-hole stretch that included back-to-back birdies at 5 and 6, followed by an eagle at the par-5 7th and another birdie at 8. He dropped a shot at the ninth, then managed - quite surprisingly- to only drop one more on the back (No. 14), while making wizardly par saves at 13, 15 and 16. He had two good looks at birdie on his final two holes - each from about 10 feet - but couldn't get them to drop.
"(Putter's) felt great now for the last couple months," Spieth said. "Kinda back to where I like to see it. ... Unfortunately, a lot of my first putt was for par instead of for birdie."
In total, Spieth needed 27 putts while finding only 35 percent of his fairways and 66 percent of his greens.
The 2017 Champion Golfer of the Year is looking for his first worldwide win since he hoisted the Claret Jug two years ago at Royal Birkdale. The former No. 1 has fallen to 38 in the OWGR.
If Spieth were to go on to win, he would tie Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka for most major victories (four) of the decade.
Spieth is also part of an American contingent trying to keep major titles in the family... er, country. Americans Tiger Woods (Masters), Koepka (PGA Championship) and Gary Woodland (U.S. Open) have already secured the first three majors of the season. If an American can win The Open, it will be the first time since 1982 that Americans have won all four majors in a single season.
Spieth co-led The Open last year at Carnoustie through 54 holes and played in the final group. He struggled out of the gate, ultimately shooting 5-over 76 falling into a tie for ninth.
"I'd like to give myself a chance on Sunday and see where we're at. It's a scenario I haven't been in for awhile, but one that I've been in many times."