Jordan Spieth usually relies on his putting to take the pressure off his ball striking. But on Thursday at Royal Troon, he couldn't seem to get a putt to drop, on his way to an even-par round of 71 at the British Open.
Birdies on 4 and 6, the two par-5s on the front side, had Spieth heading in the right direction, but a dropped shot at 9 and then another at 11, the hardest hole on the course, derailed his chance to go low. He's five behind clubhouse leader Patrick Reed.
Putt after putt either breezed by the hole or lipped out, and the 22-year-old never found a groove. Even the momentum from making a long birdie putt on 17 didn't last long, as a wayward pitch turned the 18th into a bogey 5.
On a day where the weather conditions were near ideal for an Open, the No. 3 player in the world has to feel like he missed a chance to set himself up for a big week at Royal Troon. Even so, he didn't shoot himself out of it, and conditions will likely only get tougher.
He tees off at 9:04 a.m. EST for Friday's second round.