FORT WORTH, Texas – Solid. Boring. Stress-free.
They’re not terms that we’re used to associating with Jordan Spieth’s play, at least not since he let a second green jacket slip away. But those were the words Spieth used to describe his opening 67 at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational, a round that looked much more like the Spieth with which we are all familiar.
At 3 under, he sits three shots off the lead after one round. More importantly, Spieth strode to the podium with an air of confidence that has been missing since he deposited a pair of balls into Rae’s Creek.
“Extremely pleased with somewhat boring golf,” Spieth said. “On a day like today, you’re really just looking to hit greens in regulation, be as stress-free as possible, and it felt like we were out there.”
Sure, the stat line wasn’t ideal. Spieth didn’t hit a fairway until the seventh hole, and he found only six all day. But that’s more a testament to the swirling winds that buffeted players in the afternoon wave than an indictment of Spieth’s ball-striking.
“First few holes, it’s hard to find these fairways,” Spieth said. “But I felt like the swing was still there. I mean, I was striking it nicely. I was hitting good approach shots. I wasn’t very concerned with the missed fairways.”
Spieth got off to a hot start, with birdies on each of his first two holes. While he gave a shot back on No. 4, he didn’t make another bogey the rest of the way.
Spieth’s post-round mood was a stark contrast to his assessments all week at the AT&T Byron Nelson, where he was in contention but consistently admitted that his swing wasn’t quite where he’d like it to be.
While the numbers were lower last week at TPC Four Seasons Resort, Spieth quickly asserted that his opener amid the cozy confines of Colonial trumped anything he put together last week across town.
“This round I played much better than the 6-under first round last week,” he said. “That was a very, very difficult golf course this afternoon.”
Spieth enjoys the thoughtful planning and strategy that goes into a round at Hogan’s Alley, and his record of three top-15 finishes in as many appearances at Colonail supports that assertion. Now he’ll have a chance to move up the leaderboard with an early second-round tee time, hoping to capitalize on softer conditions that are expected with rain in the forecast.
“I felt like anything under par this afternoon was a good, solid round of golf,” he said. “I think that’s what it’ll show if you look at the waves, and that happens. So we’ve just got to take advantage of the morning.”