After the opening round of the 2015 British Open at St. Andrews, Jordan Spieth’s shot at completing the Grand Slam in 2015 is as good as ever. Well, unless you ask Dustin Johnson.
Spieth curled in a 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole Thursday to cap off a five-under 67. He sits two back of Johnson, who bombed his way to a 65 Thursday in the same pairing as Spieth.
Spieth didn’t appear to have his best game Thursday, but the putt he drained on 18 was exactly the kind of confidence inspiring shot he wants cycling through his mind until his tee time Friday.
One thing that may work against Spieth is the Friday forecast. There’s some ugly weather expected throughout the day, with the worst of it (steady winds of 20 mph, 90+ percent chance of heavy rain) passing through between 5 and 10 a.m. local time. Spieth, Johnson and Hideki Matsuyama won’t hit the course until 2:34 local time until the afternoon, but a wet, soft course should play to Johnson’s length off the tee.
Before the first round, Spieth was a 5/1 favorite with Johnson at 12/1 on GolfOdds.com. After the first round, both players are at 7/2. That does not necessarily mean that Spieth lost ground; he’s likely right where he wants to be. But as the saying goes, you can’t win the tourney on Thursday, you can only lose it, and there are plenty of big names within striking distance.
Jason Day (-6), Zach Johnson (-6) are within a shot of the lead, while Charl Schwartzel (-5) and Louis Oosthuizen (-5) matched Spieth with 67s. If Spieth can post something under par Friday and gain a stroke or two on Johnson, he’ll likely regain his spot as the odds-on favorite. But with unpredictable weather headed towards St. Andrews and a target on his back, that’s certainly no easy task. Then again, who said the Grand Slam would be easy?