PINEHURST, N.C. – Jordan Spieth has developed quite the reputation as a big-time player.
He led at the Masters. He led at The Players. And here at Pinehurst he was tied for the lead before a bogey on his final hole Thursday.
Still, it was an opening 1-under 69 that left him just one shot off the early clubhouse lead at the U.S. Open. Indeed, the 20-year-old has yet another chance to become the first under-21 major winner since Gene Sarazen in 1922.
“I’m very, very pleased with the start,” Spieth said afterward. “My game feels in good shape. I feel like I could improve the way I struck the ball and putting, but scoring-wise I’d take it again.”
Beginning on the back nine, Spieth joined the leaders after going 2 under through his first seven holes. He dropped a shot on the difficult par-4 second, picked up one on the lone par 5 on the front (No. 5) and then bogeyed the par-3 ninth after his tee shot collected short of the green.
Entering this week, Spieth was a combined 16 under par in the first round of his last seven PGA Tour starts, but that number has dwindled over each of the next three days (6 under in Round 2; 6 under in Round 3; 2 under in final rounds).
“It felt like we had a pretty good draw today,” he said. “You never know what’s going to happen (Friday), but I wouldn’t trade the position I’m in.”