Golf: Hidden rake surprises Spieth at US Open, after testy exchanges with caddy

Spieth and Greller fist pump on the eighth green during the second round.
Spieth and Greller fist pump on the eighth green during the second round.PHOTO: AFP

PEBBLE BEACH, United States (AFP) - Jordan Spieth stared in disbelief as his shot from a fairway bunker clattered to a quick stop on the lip.

"Oh, it hit the rake, there's a rake there," a surprised Spieth said to caddy Michael Greller, who could only answer: "There is a rake there."

Neither had spotted the implement nestled in the tall rough edging the hazard at the par-four second at Pebble Beach, Spieth's 11th hole of the US Open second round.

The former world number one, whose testy exchanges with Greller on Thursday had already made headlines, was able to save bogey after pitching out from the rough and hitting a superb fourth shot.

It was all part of a roller-coaster two-under par 69 that included seven birdies and five bogeys - and left Spieth at one-under par 141 - six shots off the lead held by Justin Rose when both walked off the course.

"If I had seen it, I would have moved it," Spieth told US broadcaster Fox.

"I was trying to clear it higher than that anyways. I don't know where the ball would have ended up if it didn't hit the rake.

"It was really actually a great bogey that helped me keep the momentum going."

The 25-year-old, who reached number one in the world in 2015 when he won both the Masters and the US Open, is trying to add to his tally of three major titles for the first time since his 2017 triumph in the Open Championship.

Spieth arrived at Pebble Beach saying he was on the upswing after three straight top-10 finishes - a welcome reversal after a run of 11 straight starts without a top 10.

But on Thursday his frustration in the midst of a one-over round was clear in an exchange with Greller caught by television cameras.

Spieth was at even par when his tee shot on the eighth sailed over the cliff. After a penalty drop he sent his third shot over the green into deep rough.

"Two perfect shots," he muttered, then said to Greller "Two perfect shots, Michael, You got me in the water on one and over the green on the other."

After the round, Greller told ESPN he didn't recall the exchange, but fans at Pebble Beach clearly did.

On Friday, some could be heard wryly congratulating Greller on club selection during the round.