The 149th Open: Jordan Spieth salutes the British fans after firing first-round 65

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“The followers are incredible right here, they’re simply the most effective in golf,” says 2017 Open champion Jordan Spieth, who defied an absence of aggressive golf in current weeks to fireplace a 65 at Royal St George’s.

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Former Open champion Jordan Spieth displays on making a quick begin to this yr’s contest with an opening-round 65 at Royal St George’s

Former Open champion Jordan Spieth displays on making a quick begin to this yr’s contest with an opening-round 65 at Royal St George’s

Jordan Spieth paid tribute to “the most effective followers in golf” after giving himself the perfect basis to problem for a second Open title with a first-round 65.

Spieth admitted he had some considerations heading into the ultimate main of the yr having not performed any aggressive golf for the reason that US Open final month, and an early bogey on the third did little to quell these fears.

However the 2017 champion responded with 4 consecutive birdies from the fifth, and he picked up additional pictures at 15 and 16 to get to 5 beneath and into the clubhouse lead, though he was quickly surpassed when 2010 winner Louis Oosthuizen got here in with a 64.

Spieth made four straight birdies on the front nine

Spieth made 4 straight birdies on the entrance 9

The three-time main champion, who got here near dropping out of the world’s high 100 earlier than a tied for fourth on the Phoenix Open ignited a resurgence, has at all times embraced the complexities of hyperlinks golf and clearly relished performing in entrance of bumper galleries.

“I’ve actually liked this match,” he mentioned. “I’ve performed properly right here, whether or not I’ve come right here in type or not, and so final yr lacking having the ability to play this match was actually one thing that I did not wish to do.

“Now we’re again, and it feels essentially the most regular of any match I believe that we have performed up to now relative to that very same match in earlier years pre-Covid-19. The followers are incredible right here, they’re simply the most effective in golf.

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“They’re very educated, and also you at all times know the place your ball is even when it is a blind shot. It was actually nice to have them again and have what seems like normalcy once we teed off on the primary gap.”

Spieth confirmed hints of aggressive rust over the early phases of his spherical, however he insisted he was comfortable along with his preparation coming into the Championship and has historically arrived at The Open after a break of two or three weeks.

“That was type of my one concern, I believe, coming in right here,” mentioned Spieth when requested about his expectations given his lack of match golf for the reason that US Open. “I felt fairly good in regards to the work that I had accomplished during the last say week and a half or so.

Spieth has not played competitive golf since the US Open

Spieth has not performed aggressive golf for the reason that US Open

“However when you have not performed for a short time, you come right into a troublesome observe, you’ll be able to have a little bit of rust early, and I used to be a little bit bit involved about that. I believe halfway by the entrance 9 at present, turning beneath par was simply large to really feel like ‘hey, we’re within the thick of issues’.

“There are some additional nerves while you’re not coming off the week earlier than, however I hit some actually good pictures early within the spherical at present, which I believe was necessary.

“I performed the week earlier than The Open in 2015, after which I believe I used to be off at the least two or three weeks yearly since. I received at Birkdale and had an opportunity at Carnoustie.

“It simply so occurs within the schedule that I find yourself taking part in rather a lot within the spring with Dallas and Fort Value, and now with the schedule shifted round with the PGA Championship in Could, by the point the US Open is completed I am fairly gassed and on the lookout for a little bit break.

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“So I believe it is extra the break earlier than it versus the preparation for right here, however I will actually look into taking part in into The Open Championship going ahead, considering that it could possibly be actually good prep.”

Spieth additionally didn’t learn an excessive amount of into taking part in the primary two rounds with Branden Grace, who was grouped with Francesco Molinari for Thursday and Friday at Carnoustie and in addition performed days one and two with Shane Lowry in 2019.

“I believe that that is possibly not extraordinarily unusual,” Spieth added. “I believe that when you have got a high 50, high 25 participant on the planet that Brandon Grace has been, he will be in some pairings with guys who’re actually able to profitable main championships, and it simply so occurred it was two years in a row.

“I did hear that forward of time, although, which simply made me chuckle. I simply did not suppose a lot of it.”



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