Friday, May 21, 2010
Updated: May 22, 9:51 AM ET
Spieth shoots 68-69 (-3) to make cut
By Richard Durrett
IRVING, Texas -- Dallas 16-year-old amateur Jordan Spieth became the sixth-youngest player ever to make the cut in a PGA Tour event, finishing the second round at 3-under 137 at the HP Byron Nelson Championship on Friday.
Spieth, a high school junior at Jesuit College Prep School in Dallas, had three birdies and two bogeys for a 1-under 69 on the par-70 TPC Four Seasons Resort and Club.
"I'm really kind of in shock right now," Spieth said. "I'm extremely pleased with how the week's gone so far. Hopefully, I can make a run at the top of the leaderboard the next two days, but we'll see."
Said his mother, Chris Spieth: "He doesn't seem like he's 16 years old. A lot of times, I don't think he's 16 years old."
He is tied for 22nd place, seven strokes behind leaders Cameron Beckman, who tied a course-record with a 61, and Blake Adams, who was paired with Spieth.
Spieth showed plenty of resolve, bouncing back with a critical up and down out of a greenside bunker on the par-5 16th after missing a par putt on 15. He said he didn't think about the cut until his second shot landed safely on the No. 18 green.
"I felt like I played better than my score today," Spieth said. "When something like that happens and you're still somewhere in it, you realize if putts start to drop, you could make a run at it. I don't want to think of myself as an amateur out here. I want to think of myself as a contender."
Spieth, playing on a sponsor's exemption, is the youngest player to compete in the HP Byron Nelson Championship. Tiger Woods was 17 when he played in 1993. He shot 77-72 and missed the cut.
One of 66 players who did not finish their first round Thursday because of an almost four-hour weather delay, Spieth played his final seven holes in 2-under for a 68.
"I could look back and talk about opportunities I missed," Spieth said. "I hung in there for a while early today and got some crucial up and downs. I feel real comfortable right now with my putter and hopefully I can carry the momentum."
Spieth, the reigning U.S. Junior Amateur champion, had a large contingent following his every shot, including a large group of his Jesuit classmates.
Also in the gallery was Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, who advanced to the U.S. Open sectional qualifier on Thursday.
"There's never going to be a course that's too much for him," said Romo, who played and stayed with Spieth at the Azalea Invitational in South Carolina earlier this year. "He's fine as long as he keeps his emotions under control. He's got the game for it, no question."
Romo, who often texts Spieth, said the teen is a "real good kid" and that he understands the tradition of the game and works hard at it.
Romo said he didn't text Spieth before his round Friday.
"He's good enough on his own," Romo said.
Chris Spieth followed her son throughout the round, wearing a Texas Longhorns shirt. Spieth is committed to the University of Texas, though he still has his senior year of high school left.
Chris said she was not surprised to see her son make the cut in his first PGA Tour event.
"He didn't play in this tournament to make the cut," Chris Spieth said. "He played in this tournament to see his name at the top of that leaderboard. That's why he plays every tournament. He's got a lot of confidence, and when he's got momentum and he's playing well, it's really fun to watch."
Cameron McCormick, Spieth's instructor at Brook Hollow in Dallas, said he was proud of how well Spieth played under pressure the last two days.
"We saw a sapling blossom today among the oak trees," McCormick said. "I think he'll be settled in [this weekend]. If he can make some adjustments on the greens, which is more of how he's seeing or reading the greens and not something technical, he can go out there and shoot another 4-under-par or 5-under and keep climbing the leaderboard."
Richard Durrett covers golf for ESPNDallas.com. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.