Jordan Spieth’s 1-under 69 on Friday was six shots off his opening-round 63, but it was good enough to maintain a one stroke lead heading into the weekend at the Travelers Championship.
Coming off a near flawless debut at TPC River Highlands, Spieth admitted his second round was a bit off.
“Yeah, it was a battle. I was just a little off today. You know, I didn’t expect to be on to the same level as a 63, but I just got a little bit — the swing was just — it’s close,” said Spieth. “It was just kind of an off day, and I’m glad I was able to still shoot 1-under with an off round.”
The 23-year-old Texan, who started on the back, played to even-par on his first-nine with a double-bogey sandwiched between two birdies.
After two quick birdies at the turn, Spieth was at 2-under on the day, and 9-under on the tournament, with six holes to play. But a bogey on the difficult 233-yard par-3 5th halted the momentum, and from there he played even-par over the final four holes to finish at 8-under through 36 holes.
“Had an opportunity on the front [his back nine] to get to 10-under. That was our new goal. It fell just short, but in a good position,” said Spieth. “For an off day to shoot 1-under and hopefully that’s the high score we post this week, that’s where you need to hold it when you get a little off.”
Tied for second, at 7-under, is Troy Merritt (68) and Patrick Reed (66), who, following a solid performance at Erin Hills (T13, -6), has posted two sub-70 rounds in Connecticut. The Ryder Cup star seems to be coming out of his season-long slump.
“I feel like I’ve been hitting the ball well all year. I feel like I’ve been putting pretty solid. It’s just every once in a while there is something that’s not quite there that day, and the numbers aren’t adding up,” said Reed, who finished with five birdies and one bogey. “Here recently, I feel like scores are starting to reflect how I’m playing and hopefully I can continue it all.”
Wesley Bryan, who posted a second-consecutive 67, and Daniel Summerhays (68) headline a group of four players at 6-under, tied for fourth.
A logjam exists after that with nine players at 5-under, 10 more at 4-under, and too many to count from 3-under to the cut line of even-par. In all, 85 players made the cut of the 150 player field.
Those who didn’t make the cut included world No. 4 Jason Day (+1), two-time Travelers champion Bubba Watson (+2) and Justin Thomas (+5).
1 Jordan Spieth -8
T2 Troy Merritt -7
T2 Patrick Reed -7
T4 Wesley Bryan -6
T4 Daniel Summerhays -6
T4 Chase Seiffert -6
T4 Boo Weekley -6
T8 Patrick Rodgers -5
T8 Daniel Berger -5
T8 Beau Hossler -5
T8 Graham DeLaet -5
T8 Chez Reavie -5
T8 Smylie Kaufman -5
T8 Padraig Harrington -5
T8 Jim Furyk -5
T8 Danny Lee -5
- This marks Spieth’s ninth 36-hole lead/co-lead on the PGA Tour. Of the previous eight, he’s been able to convert four: 2015 Masters, 2015 U.S. Open, 2016 SBS Tournament of Champions, and 2017 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
- Spieth has been the sole leader after both rounds Only two players have won the tournament in wire-to-wire fashion – Gene Littler in 1959 and Tim Morris in 1982.
- The second-round leader/co-leader has won 15 of 31 stroke-play events this season, most recently Brooks Koepka at the U.S. Open.
A look at how Jordan Spieth is getting it done after two rounds at TPC River Highlands.
Greens in Regulation
27/36 – T14[/orbit_circle_loader]
18/28 – T41[/orbit_circle_loader]
12/36 – 1st[/orbit_circle_loader]
“I really wanted to grab two [birdies] a side. That’s kind of my goal. I figured if I get two a side every nine holes that we play this week that will be 16-under, and that will win the golf tournament.”
Travelers Championship . Second Round . TPC River Highlands
|T55||Byeong Hun An||-1|
|-||Billy Hurley III||CUT|
|-||Harold Varner, III||CUT|
|-||Tyrone van Aswegen||CUT|
|-||Miguel Angel Carballo||CUT|