Jordan Spieth Makes the Most of Mercurial British Open Course


SANDWICH, England – Jordan Spieth, a born communicator, was as usual talking to himself, his assistant, his ball in flight and while rolling.

There was no shortage of good news to discuss on Thursday as Spieth was out of danger and rolling through the birds on the first day of the British Open.

Spieth, Royal St. George’s and you would never have known that as he finished 65 (-5) in a stroke led by Louis Oosthuizen.

“Historically, I’ve mostly been to venues I’ve never seen in any tournament, not just an Open, and I’ve always tried to find something I love about it,” Spieth said. “There have been times recently where I said, ‘Dude, I really don’t like this place. But I came here and I was in a really good mood about it.”

Local knowledge isn’t necessarily power in golf, especially when the wind picks up significantly in the afternoon.

Phil Mickelson drew second place with Dustin Johnson, the last time the Open championship was held in England. Royal St. George’s in 2011. Less than two months ago, he Won the PGA Championship At 50, he became the oldest golfer to win a major championship.

But none of that followed on Thursday, as Mickelson, now 51, misjudged, missed hits, and put too many tees on hard hits, especially thick ones this year.

“Front! Right!” he shouted in the ninth place after his last wrong drive.

“This is what I don’t understand,” Mickelson said to his older brother, Tim Mickelson, sulking and walking towards his ball.

“I thought if I could get a little closer, it wouldn’t do that,” he said.

“It wasn’t very fast, was it?” he asked, referring to the oscillation tempo.

Doubt was not just audible. It was visible. After finishing the front nine with another bum, he stood next to the ninth green, with his arms tied and his head down.

“Come on Phil!” A British fan, one of the nearly 32,000 spectators on the field on Thursday, shouted.

“Cheer up Phil!” cried another.

But there was no joy as Mickelson continued to advance as the increasingly powerful wind swayed the pins and created ripples and ripples in the tall meadow grass as if it were the surface of an inland sea.

Drawn with Deyen Lawson for the worst score of the day in the field of 156 players. This was Mickelson’s worst opening-round score of any major and his second-worst at the British Open, after an 85-plus of 15 when he scored in the third round at the Royal Birkdale in 1998.

“I didn’t see that coming,” he said after leaving the scorer’s tent and – politely – refusing to discuss the round.

“I’m last in line,” he said, avoiding eye contact. “He’s just making fun of me.”

He continued walking, saying that was not the purpose of the interview.

“Well, I’m doing my best,” he said. “Sorry. I have to play early tomorrow.”

It was the latest reminder of how quickly form and circumstances can change, especially in a connection course. It also reminded me of what a cerebral game golf is left with.

Spieth knows this all too well. He looked ready for a long run at the top of the game as he managed to win 10 tournaments in three seasons. second youngest Masters champion — Behind Tiger Woods — in 2015 and reached #1 in the world rankings. he is won the British Open At Royal Birkdale in 2017.

It failed to sustain that momentum and dropped to 82nd in the standings at the end of 2020, but has resurfaced this season, recording eight top 10 finishes, placing third at the Masters and winning the Valero Texas Open.

“Isn’t golf a game played between ears?” said Thursday. “When it doesn’t go great, you can definitely lose some of your trust in him. The first time I really had to try again and build trust, and it takes time. It’s obviously a combination of solving things mechanically, but then putting it to the test and stepping in with enough mental strength to keep going and get some shots. This is how you build your confidence by using this development, I think you are physically under pressure on the track. I don’t feel like I’m where I want to be mechanically yet, but it’s been really good progress for me this year.”

27 years old, Spieth Backup up to 23 numbers He’s in the standings and on the rise, but he may have to face different conditions when he plays later in the day on Friday.

All three of the top golfers on the leaderboards kicked off Thursday morning: Oosthuizen, Spieth, and American Brian Harman, who also scored 65. At that stage, lawns and green spaces were softer and more receptive, but not everyone was successful.

Bryson DeChambeau, one of Spieth’s playmates, tried to use the extraordinary length of the shirt to his advantage, but repeatedly found it difficult. He hit only four of the 14 fairways and expressed displeasure with his driver rather than his tactics. He finished with five bogeys, four birds and a 71 over 1.

“I think it’s #1 on this golf course, it hit the grass,” Oosthuizen said. “You won’t be able to do much from the harsh conditions or fairway bunkers here. If you’re not comfortable with a driver on this golf course, don’t be afraid to reach further back as long as you can get on the turf.”

Spieth, who was not one of the tour’s long-standing players, was at the Royal St. He will definitely join this game plan after the opening round at George’s.

“I did get away with a few tee hits in the first cut, maybe if it was tighter it could have made its way into the meadows,” he said. “This is a course where there is a lot of fluctuation on the turf that if it gets tighter it becomes dependent on a lot of jumping.”

On Thursday, he ruled the conditions with aplomb, making four straight ones on holes 5, 6, 7 and 8 and two more on holes 15 and 16.

Mickelson couldn’t even create a bird, despite the roars of the fans gathered in the hills and behind the ropes.

At number 18, after cutting his final drive over the metal fence separating the gallery from the fairway, he had to make his second shot off the rough terrain near the first tee, where the nightmarish tour had begun a few hours earlier.

“You’re the champion, Phil,” one fan shouted as he walked towards the green, using an unprintable adjective before the champion.

“PGAAAAAA,” another shouted, lengthening the vowel.

Mickelson gave a discreet thumbs up and nodded, but couldn’t avoid a final pair of frights.


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