NEW YORK: FedExCup champion Jordan Spieth rebounded from a double-bogey on his opening hole in yesterday’s second round to claw his way back into contention at The Barclays in Farmingdale, New York.
Stung after running up an ugly six at the par-four 10th, the world number three was calmed down by his caddie, Michael Greller, and went on to card a four-under-par 67 on the challenging layout at Bethpage Black.
That left Spieth at four-under 138, one stroke off the early clubhouse lead posted by fellow American Ryan Moore (68) in the first of the PGA Tour’s four lucrative FedExCup playoff events.
“It’s moments like 11 tee box where I really credit Michael a lot for stepping in, being a real positive voice,” Spieth said of his caddie’s influence, having taken four shots to complete the 10th after finding a greenside bunker with his approach.
“Resetting a goal there was really key for me to get my mind away from what happened and look forward. We started getting some momentum. Obviously the eagle jumps you up there a bit.”
Spieth eagled the par-five fourth after hitting his second shot to two feet. He also pocketed four birdies over his final 10 holes to surge up the leaderboard.
“It’s such a tough golf course, it’s rare when we play tournaments on courses this challenging,” said Spieth. “Normally they are majors. But four-under makes up a lot of ground.”
Moore, who two weeks ago clinched his fifth career victory on the PGA Tour at the John Deere Classic, again produced stellar form off the tee as he mixed five birdies with two bogeys.
“I’ve hit the ball really well these first two rounds,” the 33-year-old American told reporters. “I really controlled it. I hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens, gave myself some great opportunities.
“The putter hasn’t been great through these first couple of rounds but I finally made a couple more today. I’m excited about going into the weekend and trying to shoot a good one tomorrow to get into contention on Sunday.”
Scotland’s Martin Laird and American Patrick Reed, co-leaders on Thursday after carding five-under 66s, and Australian world number one Jason Day, who opened with a 68, were among the late starters yesterday.