Spieth's 67: Solid, boring, and stress-free

By Will GrayMay 27, 2016, 12:47 am

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.

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“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.”

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Kisner (67) enjoying 'frat' life, soccer matches with Jordan and Co.

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 12:49 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The frat house tradition continued this year at The Open, with a group of seven high-profile Americans rooming together for the week, including early first-round leader Kevin Kisner.

Kisner explained after his opening 5-under 66 that the group – which includes Jordan Spieth, Jason Dufner, Zach Johnson, Jimmy Walker, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler – has spent the week talking about how demanding Carnoustie is playing and enjoying the summer weather.

“We're out there playing soccer at night and hanging out,” he said.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

To be clear, this isn’t a proper soccer match, but instead a penalty-kick situation with all but one player taking turns trying to score.

“I just try to smash [Dufner] in the face,” Kisner laughed. “He's the all-time goalie.”

Although Kisner said he’s always impressed with the athletic prowess of other players, Spieth has proven himself particularly adept on the impromptu pitch.

“Jordan scored when Duf tripped, it was hilarious,” Kisner smiled. “[Spieth] is good until he sends it over the goal four houses over, and we've got to go knock on a neighbor’s door for the soccer ball.”

The group is actually staying in two local houses that are next to each other, one with a large enough back yard and a soccer net, but perhaps not enough soccer balls.

“We’re going to have to Amazon Prime a couple new balls to replace the ones we lost,” Kisner said.

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Van Rooyen continues links run with impressive 67

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 12:27 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – For Erik van Rooyen familiarity has not bred contempt.

The South African, like many European Tour players, has been on a links golf odyssey the last three weeks, playing the Irish Open, Scottish Open and this week’s Open Championship in consecutive weeks, and the crash course paid off on Day 1 at Carnoustie when he opened with a 4-under 67 to assure himself a spot among the early leaders.

Although van Rooyen missed the cut last week just down the coast at Gullane Golf Club, he entered the final round in Ireland with a four-stroke lead.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“I didn't pull it off the final day,” said van Rooyen, who closed with a 74 to tie for fourth place. “I still think I played pretty well. I was nervous. That's completely normal, and I'll learn how to deal with that. I'll take that experience into tournaments like this.”

Van Rooyen, who was alone in second place when he completed his round, began his round with back-to-back birdies and was bogey-free until the last hole. It was just what one would expect from a player who has immersed himself in links golf for the better part of a month.

“We've been playing nice golf now the last three weeks, so definitely used to the way this course is playing, definitely used to handling the wind,” he said. “So I'll be ready.”

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Vegas helicopters in to Carnoustie, without clubs

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 9:33 am

Jhonattan Vegas did some range work, putted a little and strolled to the first tee for his 5:31 a.m. ET start in the 147th Open Championship.

Everything before that, however, was far from routine.

Vegas' visa to travel to Scotland expired and the process to renew it got delayed - and it looked like his overseas' flight might suffer the same fate. Vegas, upon getting his visa updated, traveled from Houston, Texas to Toronto, Canada to Glasgow, Scotland, and then took a helicopter to Carnoustie.

He arrived in time on Thursday morning, but his clubs did not. Mizuno put together some irons for him and TaylorMade got him his preferred metal woods. He hit the clubs for the first time on the range, less than 90 minutes before his start.

"I'm going to go out there and play with freedom," Vegas told Golf Channel's Todd Lewis.