Spieth adapts to ride out Horseshoe holes

FORT WORTH (Dallas) • Jordan Spieth made light work of the "Horrible Horseshoe" to surge into contention after his second round at the weather-hit Colonial golf tournament in Texas.

Bryce Molder tops the leaderboard at the Colonial Country Club with nine under after 15 holes of his second round, a stroke ahead of Webb Simpson (67).

Spieth shot a 66 to post a seven-under 133 halfway total and is tied for third with Patrick Reed, who played just eight holes.

Half the field did not complete the second round due to a five-hour morning thunderstorm delay, with some managing only six holes.

Spieth, who started at the 10th, picked up four shots in five holes after the turn, including birdies at the difficult fourth and fifth.

"That was a big back nine to climb back into contention. I was very pleased with that run," he told Golf Channel.

The world No. 2 added that he was shaping 90 per cent of his shots with a draw, moving the ball from right to left, to increase his "comfort level".

In his third tournament since he frittered away the Masters with a quadruple bogey at the 12th hole during the final round, Spieth sounded upbeat with the US Open three weeks away.

"I was set up by fairways hit," he said. "The greens were two feet faster than yesterday and it took me a little while to adjust but once I made that adjustment (the birdies followed)."

He was particularly satisfied to play the difficult three-hole stretch from No. 3 dubbed the "Horrible Horseshoe" in two under par.

US Masters winner Danny Willett veered from the sublime to the ridiculous, following a record 29 on the front nine with an inward half of 39, as he shared the second-round lead at the BMW PGA Championship in Wentworth, England, on Friday.

The Englishman surged to the top of the leaderboard alongside South Korean Yang Yong Eun and Scott Hend (both 69) of Australia after a scintillating burst of scoring that yielded six birdies in seven holes to the ninth.

The journey home was a completely different story, though, as Willett frittered away stroke after stroke before a birdie at the long 18th gave him a four-under 68 and a tally of 134 at the European Tour's flagship event.

"I could have chucked it away and finished really poorly but it shows a little bit of mental strength," he said.

The three leaders have a one-stroke advantage over South African Jaco van Zyl (68).

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 29, 2016, with the headline 'Spieth adapts to ride out Horseshoe holes'. Print Edition | Subscribe