Spieth struggles in blustery Round 1, shoots 76
The defending Valspar champ hopes for less wind on Friday at the Copperhead Course
March 10, 2016
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
- Jordan Spieth hit six of 18 greens on Thursday. He made one birdie and six bogeys. (Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)
PALM HARBOR, Fla. -- For the second time in his last three starts, Jordan Spieth will find himself fighting to make the cut on a Friday on the PGA TOUR.
Spieth had come to the Valspar Championship as the defending champion, too. But the disappointing 76 he shot on a blustery Thursday at the Copperhead Course has left the World No. 1 with a lot of work to do.
"Typically, my history (on my off days), I'm able to hold that around even par and I'm just shooting too high a number," Spieth said. "(I) didn't quite squeak out even today, even though it was an even kind of round, and hopefully less wind tomorrow and I can work hard to play on the weekend."
At the Northern Trust Open late last month, Spieth shot a first-round 79 that was his highest opening round on TOUR and left him 16 strokes behind the leader, better than just one man in the field. He came back with a 68 but still had to make a rare early exit.
The 22-year-old Texan did most of the damage early on Thursday when he made five bogeys and just one birdie in his first seven holes. He made the turn 4 over with hopes of getting back to even par before signing his scorecard but it was not to be.
Jordan Spieth birdies No. 12 at Valspar
"I just didn't hit enough greens," Spieth said. "I had the opportunities on a few holes today and actually there was a lot of holes where I thought if I hit great shots posing and it's 10, 15 yards off on the distance based on the gust of the wind.
"It was a very tough day."
Spieth only hit two fairways on the back, which was his first nine, and five on the front. Missed fairways at the Copperhead often lead to tree trouble, and Spieth definitely had his share. He drove into several fairway divots, as well.
"I got off to a poor start and I was behind the eight-ball with gusty wind on a tough golf course," said Spieth, who found himself getting tentative after repeatedly flying greens.
The putter, as has been the case most of the season, wasn't particularly cooperative, either -- and Spieth was unable to take advantage of greens that were "about as slow as I can ever remember putting on the PGA TOUR."
He took just 25 putts and 11 were one-putts. Unfortunately for Spieth, most of those came as he scrambled for pars and bogeys.
"It's so tough on some of these putts down the hill to hit them as hard as we have to hit them," Spieth explained. "... You don't see it. It's an adjustment. It's something you got to trust. It's one thing to practice on the greens and get used to it, it's another to actually do it.
So Spieth shrugged and called it one of "those" days. He didn't plan to beat himself up over the round of 5 over. In fact, Spieth was looking forward to a nap.
"What good is kicking the door other than hurting my foot and (having to) withdraw?," Spieth said good-naturedly. "I'm kidding. No, I'll be fine."