>>Spieth Has Forgettable First Round At Barclays; Leader Board Crowded
It wasn't his worst overall score of the season (that was a 75 at the Players Championship in May), but that didn't matter to Jordan Spieth. His 4-over 74 was his worst score to par this year and left him way off the lead and bummed after 18 holes of play at The Barclays.
It started innocently enough. Spieth went out on the back nine in 34. Then he shot an astonishing 40 on the way in to sit nine back of leaders Bubba Watson and Spencer Levin.
Watson and Tony Finau powered their way around Plainfield Country Club and each had a 5-under 65. They were in a four-way tie for the lead that included
Levin and Camilo Villegas, players who are in dire need of a good week.
Villegas only got into the top 125 to qualify for the playoffs last week at the Wyndham Championship, with two shots to spare. That was pressure. Now he feels as though he has nothing to lose as he tries to get into the top 100 who advance to the second event next week at the TPC Boston.
Watson wasn't hitting all the fairways, but at times that was to his advantage. The greens are pitched in such a way that some shots have to carry to the hole, allowing for spin to make sure it stays below the hole. That's what caused Spieth problems.
From the rough, Watson was able to land short of the flag and have it roll up toward the hole. That set up ample birdies.
Day pulled out of the pro-am Wednesday after tweaking his back. Oddly enough, he had wanted an MRI on his back before the playoffs to make sure everything was in order. He felt the twinge removing a light box from under his motor home, and decided to have the MRI on Wednesday. It showed everything in good order, and while the PGA champion rubbed his back after a few hooked tee shots, he felt good enough.
Defending champion Hunter Mahan birdied his opening hole and went on to shoot 78. Justin Rose had a 77, while defending FedEx Cup champion Billy Horschel had a 76.