Friday, May 24, 2013
Notebook: Spieth overcomes penalty
By Randy Jennings
FORT WORTH, Texas -- The golf maturation of Jordan Spieth continues. The 19-year-old from Dallas made two bogeys on Friday and followed them up with birdies in shooting a 3-under 67.
He’s at 8 under, two shots off the lead in his first crack at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.
Spieth incurred a 1-stroke penalty on his sixth hole on Friday that might have ruffled even a seasoned Tour player.
His approach to the 406-yard par 4 landed only 20 feet from the pin but stopped precariously between spike marks.
Said Spieth: “It stayed where it was, so I just went to hit my putt. I took my practice strokes and saw it maybe kind of start to tilt. But it stopped again. So I put my putter down and the ball kind of fell down into the cleat mark. And my putter did not cause it to move. I know that for a fact it was going to move. If I had hit the putt two seconds earlier, it wouldn’t have done that. If I waited two seconds longer, I wouldn’t have grounded my putter."
A rules official was called over and the result was a 1-stroke penalty.
A strong Round 2 had 19-year-old Dallas native Jordan Spieth two shots back at the end of play Friday.
“I was more upset than I normally get," Spieth admitted.
But he followed the disappointment with a birdie at No. 7.
“That was the most important hole I’ve played all week. I wouldn’t say I get any more aggressive after a bogey. If anything, I probably play safer."
Spieth pierced the seventh fairway with a 3-wood and dropped a 9-iron a foot away for a kick-in birdie. He’s the leader in greens hit in regulation so far.
“I feel like off the tee I’m as solid as I’ve been and my irons are in distance control straight, and that’s what you need on these small greens," said Spieth.
Weather delays: Play was suspended twice because of the weather on Friday. There was a two-hour delay early in the afternoon and a final stoppage at 6:38 p.m.
Tournament leader Matt Kuchar (10 under) and 53 others have not finished their second round. Play is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. on Saturday.
Fairways for Furyk: After hitting only four fairways in Thursday’s first round, Jim Furyk straightened out some things on the driving range before leaving the course, setting the stage for a 4-under 66 on Friday when he hit 12 of 14 fairways.
Furyk, 5 under for 36 holes, has four top-five finishes at Colonial but has never won here.
“It’s one of my favorites on Tour," Furyk said. “It’s changed over the years. It’s a lot greener now. They irrigate it a lot more. The scores are a touch lower, but it’s still a great golf course. You have to work the ball, and it’s tough to get the ball in the fairways. It’s not overly long, but it’s still got a little teeth to it."
Record setter:Josh Teater is 10 under on the back nine at Colonial after two rounds, the best since 1983. Overall, he’s 8 under, in a three-way tie for third.
“I’ve played the back nine great so far," Teater said. “I haven’t hit any trees or had any three-putts."
He couldn’t say the same about the front nine on Friday. Teater’s tee shots on No. 3 and No. 6 struck trees. He bogeyed both.
“If you don’t hit the fairway, you are going to have a fairway bunker or some trees to deal with," said Teater, who reached a tournament-best 11 under at one point. “I made bad swings with the driver and put me in a bad spot."
Horseshoed: Graham DeLaet wasn’t aware that the difficult Nos. 3, 4 and 5 at Colonial are known as the “Horrible Horseshoe." But after bogeying all three in his second round, the 31-year-old Canadian understands the nickname.
“It definitely got me today," DeLaet said.
Despite Horseshoe trouble, DeLaet shot 67, good enough for second place at 9 under when play was suspended.
Comeback story:Steve Flesch is transitioning from playing golf to talking about it on television.
But the 2004 Crowne Plaza champion showed on Friday he hasn’t forgotten his way around Colonial, equaling the day’s low round, a 64. He’s part of a four-way tie for fourth at 8 under.
Flesch was 0-for-12 in cuts last year while playing hurt.
“After a year like that, and missing the cut last week, you just never know," he said. “I know I have it in me. But until you actually do it and prove it to yourself, it is a tough hurdle.
“Believe me, today was a big day for me. If I would have come out and shot a couple over par and missed another cut, it would have been a tough rest of 2013."