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Spieth frustrated by putter in second-round 73

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HUMBLE, Texas – Very little went right for Jordan Spieth on Friday at the Shell Houston Open, where he fell back with a 1-over 73. For Spieth, though, the culprit was clear.

“I’ve got to putt better,” Spieth said. “I’m losing a couple strokes back to the field on the putting, and normally we’re gaining strokes. Inside 10 feet, I’ve got to be solid and confident, but I can’t get into a rhythm.”

Spieth was erratic from tee to green, hitting only eight of 18 greens in regulation, and he mixed three birdies with four bogeys. He remained frustrated on the greens and continued to struggle with the par-5s at the Golf Club of Houston, playing them 1 over during the second round.

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“It’s the dumb stuff, like two water balls on the par-5s. There’s four shots. Those holes are playing at 4.5 [shots] today and I had played them with two sixes,” he said. “The kind of little things that are easy to shave off, but it just kind of really stinks to keep on making those mistakes.”

At 4 under, Spieth will comfortably make the cut but sits six shots behind Charley Hoffman at the halfway point. It will likely require a Herculean effort to replicate last year’s playoff appearance at this event, but Spieth heads into the weekend with one eye on the Masters, as his green jacket defense will commence in a matter of days.

“It really comes down to the putter for me. I have to get better before next week,” he said. “I just need to find a higher comfort level with my putter, and hopefully that just leads to some midrange putts going in, some under par rounds.”