After winning the John Deere Classic Sunday, flying to Scotland on Monday, and playing his first British Open at St. Andrews, all Jordan Spieth did on Thursday was shoot a 5-under-par 67. The reigning Masters and U.S. Open champion is two shots off Dustin Johnson’s opening round lead.
A 15-footer for birdie on 18 capped off Spieth’s stellar performance.
“It was certainly nice to finish that way,” Spieth said. “I hit a drive that would have been in big, big trouble on any other hole. Luckily it was the 18th at St. Andrews. Got a good number. I walked the entire thing off. It was like 92 yards.”
— The Open (@TheOpen) July 16, 2015
Spieth got off to a blazing start with birdies on the first two holes and five of the first seven en route to a 5-under-par 31 on the front side. Another birdie at the 11th got him to 6-under for a brief moment, until he gave a stroke back with a a bogey on the par-4 13th.
Thursday’s performance was also Spieth’s way off silencing those who criticized his decision to play in the John Deere rather than Scottish Open, where the last five winners of The Open have come from. But Spieth stuck to his schedule.
“I wanted to come off of a competitive tournament,” he said. “I could have played the Scottish as well. I wanted to go somewhere I was comfortable playing and figured I could get in contention and feel the nerves, and that’s what happened.”
Spieth’s first ever PGA Tour victory was at the John Deere, back in 2013.
“Our game plan worked out perfectly. [Caddie Michael Greller] has walked two or three extra rounds on this course this week already. He also was out here at 4-something this morning, walking the course and [seeing] pins. It takes a little extra work when we’re over here maybe than if we were over early, but all in all, we had full and complete trust in our knowledge.”
Spieth, playing with Dustin Johnson and Hideki Matsuyama, tees off Friday at 9:34 a.m EST.
However, keep an eye on the weather forecast. While gentle winds and fair conditions greeted players on Thursday, mother nature is bringing some nasty conditions the next two days. Rain is expected early Friday, as are howling winds from the south – sustained at 20-25 mph and gusting to 35 mph. Saturday gets even worse, as heavy thunderstorms are expected at times.
Crazy Stat of Day: Jordan Spieth and Tiger Woods have played 19 rounds in the same tournaments this year. Spieth is 110 strokes better.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 16, 2015
The way Spieth has dominated this year, he’ll probably go out and shoot 66-64 the next two days, while other player’s dreams of winning a major championship literally drown.
This is just the seventh time since the Masters began in 1934 that a player won at Augusta National and at the U.S. Open. Only Ben Hogan in 1953 went on to win The Open in the same year.
Spieth is now 20 under par, with 15 birdies and just 5 bogeys, in the opening rounds of the three major championships this year.