Spieth takes advantage of delay, gets putter going


WINDERMERE, Fla. – Mother Nature gave Jordan Spieth a reprieve ... and he took full advantage.

Thanks in large part to a series of back-nine birdies, Spieth remains in front after two days at the Hero World Challenge. At 11 under, he leads Henrik Stenson by two shots. He was 5 under on his round and short of the 18th green when he opted to stop play because of darkness.

After struggling on the greens for much of his second round, Spieth caught a break when rain forced the stoppage of play after he and Zach Johnson finished the 10th hole. Afforded an opportunity for some rare mid-round practice, Spieth got his stroke back on track and went on to birdie four of his first six holes following the intermission.

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“It was really nice, because I was hitting some putts and walking right after I hit them because they weren’t great strokes and I wasn’t starting them on the right lines,” he said. “So it was actually kind of nice to go hit some practice putts in the middle of the round there.”

Spieth originally intended to finish his round with daylight quickly disappearing, but after his approach to No. 18 missed the green, his caddie Michael Greller convinced him that the best course of action would be to wait until morning.

“Just wasn’t a good idea to finish on 18,” he said. “I wouldn’t have really been able to see a putt. It’s a tough chip to get within a few feet anyway, so didn’t make much sense to try and hit the chip if I really wasn’t going to want to hit the putt anyway.”

Steve Stricker was the only other player in the 18-man field who opted against finishing his round Friday evening. Both men will be in position near the 18th green at 10:15 a.m. ET Saturday, with the third round to begin shortly thereafter.