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Spieth's putter heats up, but he gains no ground

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PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Jordan Spieth finally got his putter going Friday, giving himself a weekend chance at back-to-back AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am wins.

He needed just 26 putts in his round of 5-under-par 66 at Monterey Peninsula. It mercifully broke his streak of nine consecutive rounds of 30 more putts.

At 5 under overall, Spieth is tied for 23rd.

There’s good news and bad news in that.

Spieth started Friday seven shots off the lead, and that’s where he ended the day.

The good news is that he doesn’t have as many players in front of him as he did after Thursday’s round.

The bad news is that world No. 1 Dustin Johnson shares the seven-shot lead on him with Beau Hossler.

Spieth, who has talked openly about a “minor slump” with his putter, birdied five of his first seven holes on Friday.

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“Nice to get off to a good start, and I saw a couple putts go in early, and, normally, that's all I need to kind of stop skiing uphill and start to turn downhill,” Spieth said. “Hit better putts today.”

Spieth cooled on the back nine, but he said the poa annua was “more beat up” later in the day.

The putter’s improvement excites Spieth about his weekend chances. One of the best clutch putters on Tour, Spieth entered the week 195th in strokes gained putting.

What adjustments did he make Friday? Mainly, the same he talked about working on earlier in the week.

“Some minor adjustments just to get on top of the ball and see the line a little easier,” he said.