Spieth: ‘I’m still in contention’
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- American Jordan Spieth believes he will have to shoot 10-under par for his last two rounds at windswept St. Andrews to keep his British Open hopes alive.
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland - American Jordan Spieth believes he will have to shoot 10-under par for his last two rounds at windswept St. Andrews to keep his British Open hopes alive.
The 21-year-old Texan, attempting to become the first player since Ben Hogan in 1953 to win the year’s first three majors, is five shots behind compatriot Dustin Johnson at 5-under after an even-par 72 second round that took more than 24 hours to complete.
“I believe I’m still in contention. I still believe I can win this tournament,” Spieth told reporters Saturday after a trying day that began with a 4.45 a.m. alarm call to complete his second round that had been interrupted by darkness the previous day.
“I need a really solid round tomorrow because Dustin is not letting up. Dustin is going to shoot a good round tomorrow with less wind, and I’m going to need to shoot a great round to give myself a chance. If I shoot something like 10-under in the last two rounds, I think I’ll have a chance to win.”
Normally being five shots adrift in a share for 14th place on the Saturday night of a major would be tough to haul back, but with the Open battered by bad weather it will end on Monday.
“Instead of being five shots back with one to go, I’ve still got two full rounds so anything can happen,” the Masters and U.S. Open champion said.
He will have to rediscover his touch with the putter though.
Usually so deadly, he missed several opportunities over the course of his second round and reacted angrily when he missed a birdie putt on the 14th green - his first hole of the day having come to a halt there in Friday’s evening gloom.
“I just completely forgot about being aggressive, and that’s what you have to be out here,” he said. “That was also my fourth three-putt in a row. I just wasn’t hitting them hard enough.”
Shortly after that the 50 mph gusts caused a 10-hour suspension and Spieth voiced his annoyance at even being asked to start in such severe conditions.
“I don’t believe that had they known what was going to happen they would have started us,” he said. “It’s unfortunate, but we just have to stick it out.”
When he returned, having caught up on some sleep, he bogeyed the par-4 17th but rebounded with a birdie on the last hole after matching big-hitting Johnson in driving the green.