Jordan Spieth misses cut after frustrating 36 holes in Phoenix

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Jordan Spieth misses cut after frustrating 36 holes in Phoenix

PGA Tour

Jordan Spieth misses cut after frustrating 36 holes in Phoenix

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Jordan Spieth was understandably frustrated following his second round Friday at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. After rounds of 72-70 and with 74 players already ahead of him at even par, Spieth was likely looking at an early exit. After signing his scorecard, he retreated further into the TPC Scottsdale clubhouse before a media official could reach him.

There wasn’t much that Spieth could have said anyways.

No one likes to miss cuts, obviously, especially with their family traveling to watch them play 72 holes. The putter was noticeably off, as well, as Spieth gave up nearly four shots on the greens, ranking near the bottom of the field in strokes gained: putting. And then there were a couple of notable fan-interference moments.

On Thursday, Spieth was mid-swing on the tee box at the par-4 18th, his final hole of the day, when two women yelled from just outside the ropes, “Tater tots!” Spieth somehow managed to find the fairway, and a police officer then found the culprits and sent them packing.

“It’s fun to play in a crowd like this and with all these people and cheering you on, but that girl just yelled right in Jordan’s downswing,” said Spieth’s playing competitor, Justin Thomas. “It doesn’t matter who it is, whether it’s me or Jordan or anybody else in the field, I mean there’s just no place for that. You saw it with Tiger last week. (A fan yelled in the middle of Woods’ putting stroke at Torrey Pines.)

“I get it, late in the day, at a place like Phoenix, I’m sure they’re a couple in, but it’s still, it’s not appropriate and I hate that it could affect someone’s score because of that.”

Then on Friday, Spieth was again playing his final hole, the par-4 ninth. Needing birdie to move inside the cut line, Spieth had a look at birdie from 30 feet. He took the putter back and then another fan, this time a man, shouted: “I have 100 bucks on you, Jordan!”

Spieth missed. The fan was escorted out, but Spieth won’t be returning to TPC Scottsdale this week, either, as his day did indeed end in a missed cut. It is his first missed cut since the AT&T Byron Nelson last season when he missed three in a four-event span.

“I just need more reps,” Spieth told USA TODAY’s Steve DiMeglio later in the locker room. “At the beginning of the year I thought I had a lot of work to do to get ready for Augusta, to get my game to an ‘A’ level for the Masters. Some years my ‘A’ game is already there at the start of the year.

“But because of all the time I took off – all the time I was sick in bed (Spieth battled mononucleosis in December) and the other times I was actually taking time off – I’ve started way behind.”

He needed 62 putts to get through his 36 holes, clearly very un-Spieth-like.

“He’s just uncomfortable with the putter right now and he’ll get it going,” Thomas said. “He hit a lot of good putts that didn’t go in too, but that’s golf, that happens a lot.”

Aside from Phoenix, Spieth has enjoyed a nice run of late with seven straight top-9 finishes before a T-18 at the Sony Open three weeks ago. He will be back in action next week at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, where he is the defending champion.

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