Jordan Spieth followed up an opening-round 65 with a day-two 67 and will enter the weekend at the 149th Open just three shots back of halftime leader Louis Oosthuizen.
Spieth got off to a terrific start at Royal St George’s with birdies on Nos. 1 and 2, but then mixed two bogeys with three birdies the rest of the way to settle on 9-under par for the championship.
“I felt like it started to get a little shiny for sure,” said Spieth. “With the forecasted conditions being sunshine and less wind, I imagine they’ll let them firm up because that will be the defense of the golf course.
“I know that was the case the last time The Open Championship was held here, and it puts more of a premium on hitting out of the fairway for sure.
“I might look into what clubs I’m hitting off tees. I’ve been able to hit driver a lot around this course, and I’m not sure if that’ll stay the same or if I’ll look to make sure we’re positioning ourselves in the fairway more.
Spieth sits solo third, three off the pace of the South African leader but just one back of Collin Morikawa, who was alone in second place.
The 2021 season has been a huge bounce back campaign for the former world No.1. After three seasons of serious struggles, and nearly falling out of the top 100, the 27-year old Texan has nearly returned to form. Starting in early February in Phoenix (Waste Mgt Open), Spieth has posted eight top-10s in 12 starts, six of which were top-5 finishes, highlighted by a victory in his home state of Texas at the Valero – his first win of any kind in four years.
A second Claret Jug, though, and fourth major at just 27, would be the ultimate return to the top of the mount for the former Golden Child.
“I haven’t,” answered Spieth, when asked if he’d allowed himself to think about the feeling of winning a major again after so many years of doubt.
“To be honest, the path that I’m on and where I’ve been before in the game, I feel really good about my chances going forward, as good as they have been historically.
“As far as surprised or not, I guess I feel like I’ve been trending the right way and certainly had a chance this year already at Augusta.
“Made some mistakes in the first round and second round that I shouldn’t have made that I very well could have won that golf tournament this year.”
“I like where I’m at.
“Again, I feel like I was progressing nicely. Took a couple steps back really on the weekend at Colonial through the U.S. Open, and I know what it was now and tried to put in some good work over the last few weeks to get back on the same and even forward it from where I was already progressing.”