Spieth opens with a 76, in danger of missing cut

Palm Harbor (Fla)—Jordan Spieth rolled in a 12-foot birdie putt on his third hole Friday at the Valspar Championship, just what he needed to settle down after a bogey-bogey start as the defending champion.
‘’Started 20 minutes too early today,’’ he said. That was his only birdie of the day. Maybe he started two hours too early.
Spieth never recovered from the opening seven holes in which he had to get up-and-down to save bogey four times and twice was stymied by trees on the par 5s. He finished with 10 pars and a three-putt bogey for a 5-over 76. More than being nine shots out of the lead, he was in danger of missing another cut.
‘’I got off to a poor start and I was behind the eight ball with gusty winds on a tough golf course,’’ Spieth said. ‘’I’ve been feeling good about my game. Unfortunately, right now on my off days – typically my history, I’m able to hold that around even par – I’m just shooting too high a number. And I didn’t quite squeak out even today.’’
Spieth was 4 over when he made the turn and set a goal for the rest of the day to get back to even par, or at least get back to 2 over. But he only had about four reasonable chances at birdie and didn’t convert any of them.
The world’s No. 1 player hasn’t been getting much out of his game since his eight-shot victory to start the year at Kapalua. He took himself out of the mix at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am with a 74 on a relatively calm day at Pebble Beach.—AP

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