Spieth lets down partner Palmer after horror finish

NEW ORLEANS (Louisiana) • Jordan Spieth took the blame for a late meltdown on Friday that cost him and partner Ryan Palmer a chance to play the final two rounds at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

Spieth hit two shots that ended in water hazards and led to double bogeys at the final two holes during the unforgiving foursomes (alternate shot) format at TPC Louisiana.

The three-time Major winner said they were mistakes that had been waiting to happen as he battled his swing for the entire round in the PGA Tour's only official team event.

"I had a couple of really bad swings," he said. "I struggled with my swing really both days. Just didn't hit the ball well at all.

"We held it together for a while and then it finally just came out. Unfortunately all we needed was two more swings."

The world No. 3 pulled his tee shot into the drink at the par-three 17th, before pushing his second shot, an iron from the fairway, into the water at the par-five 18th.

In barely half an hour, the Texas duo went from within striking distance of the lead to missing the cut by one shot. The pair shot 74 for a four-under total of 140.

"I cost our team an opportunity, which really sucks given how hard we fought today," Spieth said. "It's much worse than if it's just you."

On a day of carnage for big names, the unheralded duo of Michael Kim and Andrew Putnam took the second-round lead.

Kim and Putnam, neither of whom have won on the PGA Tour, shot 69 for a 131 and a one-stroke edge over fellow Americans Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown (70).

First round co-leaders Zhang Xinjun and Dou Zecheng of China - the first two Chinese players to hold PGA Tour membership - bowed out when they followed an opening 60 in the easier four-ball format with an 80.

Other prominent duos to miss the cut included Sergio Garcia and Rafa Cabrera Bello (140), Justin Thomas and Bud Cauley (140) and, Jon Rahm and Wesley Bryan (141).

REUTERS

ZURICH CLASSIC OF NEW ORLEANS

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 29, 2018, with the headline 'Spieth lets down partner Palmer after horror finish'. Print Edition | Subscribe