ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – With tongue firmly planted in cheek, Jordan Spieth dismissed the idea that anyone would question his Open preparation when asked about the second-guessing on Thursday.
“I didn't know that there was any of that stuff, but I appreciate it,” he smiled.
No one is that insular, not even the most strong-minded athlete.
Spieth played and won last week’s John Deere Classic, a move some questioned with his opportunity to win the third leg of the single-season Grand Slam this week and his relative inexperience on the Old Course.
On Thursday, the 21-year-old seemed to quiet the arm-chair quarterbacks when he played his first nine holes at the Open Championship in 5 under par and weathered an increasingly difficult closing loop for an opening 67, which left him two strokes off the early lead.
“I certainly could have, but I wanted to come off of a competitive tournament,” he said. “Our game plan worked out perfectly.”
Spieth, swing coach Cameron McCormick and caddie Michael Greller spent the last three days preparing a detailed plan to play the ancient links and Greller even arrived at the Old Course just after 4 a.m. on Thursday for one final scouting trip before the opening round.
“It takes a little extra work when we're over here maybe than if we were over early, but all in all, we had full and complete trust in our knowledge,” he said.