Jordan Spieth couldn’t sustain a hot start once the wind kicked up at the AT&T Byron Nelson.
Spieth made the most of the easiest portion of Trinity Forest, carding five birdies in his first seven holes to rocket up the early leaderboard. But he made a double bogey on the difficult ninth hole, then shot even on the back to finish the day with a 3-under 68. It left him five shots behind Denny McCarthy and in a tie for 37th on a day when more than half the field broke par.
After the round, Spieth told reporters that he was pleased with his ball-striking, especially off the tee. But he felt the wind started to freshen on the par-3 eighth hole and struggled to manufacture birdie opportunities coming home.
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“We knew ahead going into it, it was forecast to be pretty tough for our wave,” Spieth said. “Sometimes you get the good end, you get on the bad end sometimes. Certainly tomorrow morning looks to be pretty tough given that it’s going to be 50 degrees and potential chance of rain and a 15 mph wind. It could be playing tough.”
Spieth remains in search of his first top-20 finish of the season, having topped out with a T-21 finish at the Masters, and he is one of the headliners in the field this week in Dallas with many of the top names resting for next week’s PGA Championship. But with another chance to complete the career Grand Slam waiting for him at Bethpage, Spieth continues to highlight the positives as he looks to get a lean year back on track.
“I’ve been in the last groups on Saturdays and I’ve told you guys ahead of time it’s just a matter of time. This is different. I feel good,” Spieth said. “I feel like I’m really in the right place. It stings because it may not show given the conditions that our wave faces. That’s OK. I’ll take it better next week than this week.”