Disappointing day, but Spieth holds onto lead

Jordan Spieth of the United States playing his shot from the 18th tee during the second round of the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands on Friday. He still holds a one-stroke lead despite managing only a pedestrian one-under 69.
Jordan Spieth of the United States playing his shot from the 18th tee during the second round of the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands on Friday. He still holds a one-stroke lead despite managing only a pedestrian one-under 69.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

HARTFORD (Connecticut) • Jordan Spieth had an off day but still found himself in the lead after the second round of the Travelers Championship in Connecticut on Friday.

After opening with a superb 63, golf's world No. 6 could manage only a pedestrian one-under 69 at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell.

"For an off day, to shoot one under, hopefully, that's the high score for this week," he told Golf Channel after posting a 132 total, one stroke ahead of fellow Americans Patrick Reed and Troy Merritt.

Spieth, the 2015 Masters and US Open champion seeking his 10th Tour title, missed a couple of short putts in a round marred by two dropped shots at the par-five 13th where his drive sailed out of bounds, but he also had his high moments, including a 35-foot birdie at the third hole.

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"I made a double on a birdie hole and that throws you back a few shots but rebounded nicely," he said.

"The mid-range game I'm feeling a little bit better about (but) I've got to put some more work in."

Reed, Spieth's team-mate at the past two Ryder Cups, moved within a shot of the leader with a 13-foot birdie at the final hole in a testing afternoon breeze.

"Hardest I've seen the golf course play in the past couple of years," said Reed, a five-time PGA Tour winner who is coming off a tie for 13th place at last week's US Open.

"It was windy out there, so I'm just happy to shoot a low number and have a chance to win."

He opened and closed with birdies in firing a 66 while Merritt shot 68 to stand on 133 with compatriots Wesley Bryan (67), Daniel Summerhays (68), Boo Weekley (68) and Chase Seiffert (66) another stroke adrift.

The cut fell at even-par 140, with Rory McIlroy (73) making it on the number after bogeying the final hole, where his approach shot came up short of the green after his back foot slipped during his downswing.

Former world No. 1 Jason Day bowed out, missing the cut by two strokes after signing for a score (70) one stroke higher than he actually shot. He birdied the third hole, but marked down a par on his card.

A player is not disqualified for signing for a higher score, but is not allowed to rectify the mistake once he puts his signature on the card.

In this case it was merely academic, because Day would have missed the cut anyway.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 25, 2017, with the headline 'Disappointing day, but Spieth holds onto lead'. Print Edition | Subscribe