EDISON, NEW JERSEY | Jordan Spieth stood with his hands on his hips Thursday afternoon, the frustration of an opening round 4-over-par 74 in the Barclays visible in his body language.
This round, his worst score to par since he shot 80 in the third round of the Tour Championship last year, seemingly had come out of nowhere for the world’s new No. 1 player. Spieth had hit his first 11 fairways at twisting, rolling Plainfield Country Club and he’d made the turn in 2-under par then it all unraveled.
Jordan Spieth is not looking like Jordan Spieth this morning. http://t.co/ewda3GPkCX
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 27, 2015
Spieth started the back nine bogey, bogey, double bogey, his normally sharp wedge game gone dull and his putting stroke missing its familiar magic. It was, to use Spieth’s word, a “unique” round.
“I would argue that – after the tee shots – this is the worst round I’ve played in years for hitting that many fairways,” Spieth said. “I’ll just take it at that, that it’s just a fluke.”
Spieth begins these FedEx Cup playoffs with a commanding points lead and one poor round doesn’t significantly impact his standing. He is not, however, playing a course that immediately fits his eye.
The Donald Ross design, a classic old northeastern layout, features poa annua greens that aren’t Spieth’s favorite. He also said he struggles on courses that require players to fly wedge shots past the hole and trust them to spin back in part because he doesn’t see it often. He prefers firmer greens, allowing him to play his shots below the hole.
“I’m not a big fan of the course,” Spieth said. “It doesn’t fit me very well particularly but I’ve won on courses that I didn’t think fit me very well.”
Spieth played with Bubba Watson (65) and Jason Day (68) Thursday and will go back out with them Friday when he’ll need a low round to make the cut.
“(I’ll) do what I’ve done best, bounce back,” Spieth said.
Watson, for one, didn’t read much into Spieth’s struggles Thursday.
“It’s golf,” Watson said.