Continued from page 2

Spieth made just two bogeys in his first 32 holes to reach 3 under and stake out a spot near the top of the leaderboard. Then he went double bogey at No. 15, bogey at Nos. 16 and 17, and closed on a sour note by missing a 4-foot birdie putt at the last hole. Despite the 3-over 74, he was still in contention at 143 heading into the final two rounds.

“Yesterday I was, for some reason, extremely patient with just taking my 30-footers and just trying to give myself tap-ins and not worrying about making birdies,” Spieth said. “Today I got to a point where I finally had enough and wanted to really hit it closer.

“And that,” he added, referring to his closing stretch, “is what happens when you try.”

Spieth was asked whether the frenetic pace of the last week might have contributed to the bad decision-making. He said that wasn’t a problem, and he wasn’t worried about getting caught up reflecting on his breakout win, either.

“Partly because there’s not great internet access for me here. But also because it’s a major championship, and I’m right back into feeling the nerves of trying to compete out here.”

___

TOO OLD?: Making rash decisions on the course is rarely a problem for Mark O’Meara and Tom Lehman.

The two former British Open winners, 56 and 54, respectively, parlayed experience into scintillating opening rounds. Friday, though, was a different story.

O’Meara, the 1998 winner at Royal Birkdale, followed up his 67 with a 78; Lehman, who won at Royal Lytham in 1996, followed his 68 with a 77.

“I just played pretty poorly, to be honest with you,” O’Meara said. “Bogeying the last two holes didn’t help.”

“Really ugly golf,” Lehman said. “From the beginning to the end, just seems like I got progressively worse.”

Lehman added “there’s an element of patience that really suits that kind of course we had yesterday.”

But he also conceded giving away yards and years to the rest of the field made winning tougher as the tournament stretched on.

“I think the good rounds are as good, but the bad rounds, you don’t hit it as far or bring more of those bunkers into play or start to miss it a little bit. Bunkers that are out of play for the younger guys are in play for me. You kind of get it. Today is a good example.”

If either golfer rallies on the weekend, he would become the oldest ever to win a major. Julius Boros, who was 48 when he won the PGA Championship in 1968, holds that distinction.

Story Continues →