For Jordan Spieth, his opening round at the 2016 British Open Championship came down to one putt: the first one on the first hole.
Spieth said that, had he made the putt, he feels he would be closer to the lead at Royal Troon, if not in it, suggesting he would have shot 6 under par. Instead, Spieth shot even-par 71 that has him trailing morning wave leader Patrick Reed by five shots in Scotland.
After the round, the 22-year-old was asked if it was the flatstick that let him down on Thursday.
"That’s a question I almost never get asked, so because of that, I’m not thinking much of it,” said Spieth, who ranked atop the field in strokes gained putting at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
The Texan was pleased with his tee-to-green game, hitting 16 greens in regulation. However, he wasn't able to convert on many of those opportunities.
“Struck the ball tremendously well, just couldn’t quite match up the speed and line,” he said.
He was able to get back into red figures with a birdie on the 221-yard par-3 17th. Spieth couldn't finish there, though. On the 18th hole, he left his approach shot short and left to a front-left hole location, leaving a nearly impossible up-and-down for par.
Despite the missed opportunities, Spieth seemed encouraged that he could turn around the putter.
“I probably hit it as well as anybody in the field and shot five, six shots over the leader, so that normally doesn't happen for me,” Spieth said. “That's normally my really low round. So if I can keep my rhythm and my swing as we lead into these tougher condition days, the next couple days, I should be able to make up some strokes.”