SOUTHPORT, England — With an opportunity to shut out the match, Jordan Spieth fired his second shot into the par-5 fifteenth at Royal Birkdale and it by no means left the flag, bounding onto the inexperienced about 20 ft behind the opening.
His companion Tuesday was Justin Thomas, who watched the flight of the ball and stated, “I like having him on my group when he is enjoying like this.”
Everyone seems to be on their very own when the British Open begins on Thursday, and Spieth is wanting sharp sufficient to be listed as a co-favourite with Dustin Johnson, the No. 1 participant on the planet. Spieth is coming off his second victory of the yr final month on the Vacationers Championship. And when his putter is working — it actually hasn’t been this yr — he’s considered a favourite at nearly any event.
Nonetheless to be decided is how a lot he thrives on hyperlinks programs like Royal Birkdale.
What stands out is St. Andrews in 2015, when the 23-yr-previous Texan was going for the third leg of the Grand Slam and missed the playoff by one shot. Even so, he hasn’t completed larger than thirtieth within the different three British Opens he has performed.
A lot of his mystique is constructed round that 2015 season — the Masters and U.S. Open, 5 victories, the FedEx Cup. So most of the expectations of Spieth now are measured towards that season. These are uncommon even for the best gamers, and it is perhaps Spieth’s dangerous luck that it occurred to him so early in his profession.
He nonetheless would not commerce it.
Requested to measure his recreation now in contrast with two years in the past, Spieth stated his lengthy recreation is best, however he hasn’t been making putts. Such is golf.
“I acknowledge that being 5 years in now and 5 years does not make me a veteran, nevertheless it helps me understand type of how issues go,” he stated. “And final yr I used to be fairly caught in 2015. This yr I am not. Hopefully, we will have one other one or two like that. But when we carry on making an attempt to enhance every a part of the sport, stick with the method, then we’ll have the outcomes we would like.”
Tuesday introduced extra sunshine to the Lancashire Coast and solely a light-weight wind that got here out of a unique course. The course is quick, and balls are bouncing excessive when touchdown, which is hyperlinks golf at its greatest.
In any circumstances, Birkdale just isn’t a course that results in low scoring, definitely not like what Henrik Stenson had final yr at Royal Troon when he set the main championship report of 264 in his sensible duel with Phil Mickelson.