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Jordan Spieth misses cut, says run to Masters 'will start next time'

LOS ANGELES -- Jordan Spieth didn't shoot a 61 on Friday, which he insisted was possible after an opening-round 79, but he also didn't match that previous score, instead posting a 3-under 68 that still left him on the wrong side of the Northern Trust Open cut line.

"I can certainly take positives out of today's round," he said of a performance that yielded eight birdies and five bogeys. "That's a lot of birdies. ... That's normally another strong suit for me is birdie count per round. That was good to see. It's good to see some of those mid-range putts start to do what they have been doing for a while now."

Spieth finished the day tied for 120th, the worst position he has ever held as a pro after 36 holes, according to ESPN Stats & Information. He missed a cut for the 13th time out of 83 official stroke-play events he has played as a pro worldwide.

He insisted that he wouldn't let disappointment over his poor final score this week affect him going forward.

In fact, Spieth said that he and caddie Michael Greller discussed how to put this performance in perspective as he played the day's final nine holes.

"I'm not going to let this one get to me very much," he said. "Did a lot of talking with Michael throughout the end of the round today. Just saying, you know, don't make this a bigger deal than it is. Look at your missed cuts last year and what happened right after, and he's right. We rebounded in a perfect form last year on just about every missed the cut."

Spieth's last missed cut came at last year's Deutsche Bank Championship. He rebounded to win the Tour Championship just a few weeks later and, in nine worldwide starts since then, hadn't finished below 21st place.

After Friday's round, he chalked up the missed cut up to just one bad day.

"It's already done," he said. "Nothing I can do about it. The more upset you get, the more drastic you make everything seem, and maybe it's not that bad. Like I said yesterday, my game felt fine. It's just very odd to see some of the ball flights. When I struck it, I thought it would do something different. Something that happens one day in every year, year and a half. You hope it's in a pro-am day or practice-round day."

Some observers had suggested that Spieth's game was affected by lingering exhaustion after he played tournaments in Hawaii, Abu Dhabi and Singapore in January, but Spieth was quick to downplay the impact of those events.

"Typically, if you play quite a bit in a period of time, it doesn't matter where you are, you're still going to dial it back," he said. "You have a four-week stretch, you're going to take it a little easier. It's nothing new. Going overseas, we did have weeks in between, so it's nothing out of the ordinary, and there's no excuse for me to say that right now, because I felt 100 percent this week."

Spieth won't play next week's Honda Classic, instead returning for the WGC-Cadillac championship in two weeks, followed by a title defense at the Valspar Championship one week later.

Though he left Riviera two days sooner than he'd planned, Spieth did leave with his sense of humor still intact.

"I guess Rory [McIlroy] is considering this the start to his run at the Masters," he said with a smile. "This was not my start to the run at the Masters. Mine will start the next time."