'Still in it' Spieth says after 72
Oakmont (United States) (AFP)
It was far from a sparkling effort, but Jordan Spieth was confident his two-over 72 at Oakmont on Friday would keep him in the hunt for a second straight US Open Golf Championship crown.
"I didn't shoot myself out of it," said the 22-year-old world number two, who was six shots off the pace in the rain-disrupted round carried over from Thursday.
"Ideally, I would have been where the leader is at four-under.
"But I honestly don't think that was even possible for our tee time," added Spieth, who thought players who teed off earliest, including unlikely leader Andrew Landry in the second group on Thursday, had the best of changing conditions in what evolved into a chaotic day.
Unlike Landry, Spieth couldn't capitalize on softer conditions.
One-over through 11 when play was halted for the third and final time on Thursday, he returned on Friday to post one birdie and two bogeys in his final seven holes.
After his bogey at the par-five fourth, he landed his tee shot at the par-three sixth 13 feet from the pin and made that, but gave the stroke back with a bogey at seven, where he was in a greenside bunker.
Spieth said he would have preferred to see the firm conditions that prevailed during the practice rounds.
"Now, you know, it's still great, but it's a different golf course," he said. "Overall, I felt like I played well. I felt like I didn't quite get rewarded with my score for how I felt like I played.
"A couple tough breaks," he added. "It's a US Open. Still in it."
Spieth won't start his second round until Saturday morning, with the third round to start just after.
It's a similar schedule to the one players in the other half of the field faced Friday, playing all of the first round and as much of the second as they could complete before nightfall.
"We're going to find out what happens with the guys that are playing 36 today," Spieth said. "If the sun comes out and the wind kicks up, it could play harder than ours.
"I know that at the end of the day, the USGA is going to try to have even par win the golf tournament, and I know that I can shoot two-under in the remaining 54 holes no matter how the course plays.
"I know I am capable of it. I'm in it."
© 2016 AFP