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Progress report: Spieth takes positive step with 67

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HUMBLE, Texas – Jordan Spieth headed into the Shell Houston Open knowing that there was work to do before he defends his Masters title. After one round, he is making progress.

Spieth opened with a 5-under 67 at the Golf Club of Houston, an effort that left him three shots behind Charley Hoffman. He made only one bogey, and is again off to a strong start in an event where he lost in a playoff a year ago.

“Solid round. Feel like I said yesterday in the press room, that my game is there. It’s very close,” Spieth said. “We were able to get some work in with (swing coach) Cameron (McCormick) and continue what we’ve already been trying to trim that fat going into this week and next.”

Spieth lamented his ineffectiveness on the par-5s after playing the quartet of holes in 2 under, but he remained satisfied with his start on a day when 31 players carded 68 or better.

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“I drove the ball fantastic today. Really comfortable with my iron shots,” he said. “I had very, very good control of my golf game and my short game was there today as well.”

The Houston area has been besieged by rain in recent weeks, making a long venue play even longer this week. While the weather is expected to improve in the coming days, Spieth is ready to take on the challenge regardless of how difficult scoring may become.

“Whatever it may be, we’ll go ahead and play through the conditions,” he said. “This golf course is already long enough. If it starts to rain more, you’ve got to be patient.”