Late birdie gets Spieth in the mix at Nelson


IRVING, Texas – He’s the big man on campus now, the hometown kid and obvious crowd favorite, but things haven’t gone exactly as planned for Jordan Spieth at TPC Four Seasons.

A slow start Thursday had him visibly upset. The kid hit just 12 of 28 fairways in his first two rounds, but a spectacular shot from the right rough Friday led to a closing birdie and a 3-under total.

Spieth is in the mix ... sort of.

“It’s gonna get breezy on the weekend — it does here every year,” he said after Friday’s 67. “I’ve gotta go out and shoot a low number and see what happens.”

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His ability to avoid trouble is a big reason Spieth has risen to eighth in the World Ranking, but with better scoring by the morning half of the draw Friday, he confessed to some ill-advised chances while trying to play catch-up.

“I made a couple of [questionable] decisions here and there, didn’t play the right shot,” he said. “I got too aggressive, thinking everyone was going low. It’s a difficult golf course. You’ve got to take your medicine.”

No medicine was needed at the par-4 18th. Spieth drove it wide-right to avoid the pond running down the left side, leaving him a hanging lie and 178 yards into a narrow green. He responded with a piercing, pronounced draw that stopped 3 feet below the pin. Spieth converted to pull within five of the lead.

Long way to go, but the kid is in the picture.