Pro Golf Weekly

Update: Spieth, McIlroy Comment After Missing Cut at Valspar

Update: The struggles of superstars Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy continued into day two at Innsibrook, as both missed the cut.

Spieth shot an even-par 71 to remain at 5-over par (76-71), while Rory posted a 73 to finish (74-73) alongside his multi-major winning cohort.

It’s the second MC in four PGA Tour starts this season for McIlroy (six total starts including Europe), while it also marks number two for Spieth in eight starts (WM Phoenix).

Ironically both started the season showing no signs of trouble, especially Rory who posted a 2nd and 3rd in the UAE against star-laden fields, while Spieth finished in the top 10 in Kapalua and then shot 66-66 on the weekend at the Sony to move into the top 20.

STARS (MIS)ALIGNED

JORDAN SPIETH
9 – Sentry TofC
18 – Sony Open of Hawaii
MC – WM Phoenix Open
20 – AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
9 – Genesis Open
14 – WGC-Mexico Championship
MC – Valspar Championship

RORY McILROY

3 – Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship
2 – Omega Dubai Desert Classic
MC – AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
20 – Genesis Open
59 – The Honda Classic
MC – Valspar Championship

QUOTABLES

“You know, the putting – not really improving, either from last week. You know, I’ve been striking the ball well enough, I almost couldn’t shoot over par with the way I’m striking it.

“Everything right now is based on how I feel and the set-up. The actual commitment and all that stuff is fine.

“It’s just, you know, when I get on the greens right now it’s just trying to figure out what’s different right now from in the past on how I’m looking down and seeing my lines because I’m seeing — when I look up I’m looking up right of where my putter is actually pointed and therefore there’s just not much of a commitment and therefore a consistency.”
– Jordan Spieth

“Tough two days. Tough conditions yesterday. It was out there today. It didn’t play that difficult this afternoon. Actually hit some better shots coming in which was encouraging, if nothing else, trying to cling on to something here.

“But, yeah, I’ve got a few days to work on my game before going up to Bay Hill and playing there.”
– Rory McIlroy


ORIGINAL: SPIETH, MCILROY CONTINUE FIRST-ROUND STRUGGLES AT VALSPAR

Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy entered the Valspar Championship as the top two favorites to win at Innisbrook.
 

Spieth, the 2015 champion, was listed at 8-1 with McIlroy checking in next with odds of 14-1.

But after Thursday’s opening round, the two superstars have a lot of work to do… just to make it to the weekend. McIlroy posted a 3-over 74, good for T91, while Spieth shot a 5-over 76 and sits T123.

The 24-year old Spieth has particularly struggled in the opening round this year, having produced just one (and barely) sub-70 round in his seven starts – a 69 at the par-70 Sony Open.

On Wednesday, Spieth cited his bad starts for his early-season malaise, saying bluntly, “The first rounds set me back this year.”

McIlroy, meanwhile, started his season strong with two top-3 finishes on the Euro Tour, but in his four PGA Tour starts, he too has struggled out the gate, with just a single sub-70 round.

Although, McIlroy’s struggles are not limited to day one, as the Northern Irishman has now shot five-straight rounds in the 70s (72-72-73-72-74) going back to the Honda.

Speaking of odds, what would they be for McIlroy and Spieth – two 20-somethings on the verge of career grand slams – to combine for two total rounds in the 60s in 11 tries?

STARTING SLOW

JORDAN SPIETH

75 – Sentry TofC
69 – Sony Open of Hawaii
72 – WM Phoenix Open
72 – AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
71 – Genesis Open
70 – WGC-Mexico Championship
76 – Valspar Championship

RORY McILROY

68 – AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
71 – Genesis Open
72 – The Honda Classic
74 – Valspar Championship

Jeff Smith

Jeff is a writer and content producer for Pro Golf Weekly. He is working on a book, documenting the 2017 and 2018 seasons on the major golf tours.

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