June 23, 2017 / 11:48 PM / 3 months ago

Golf - Spieth leads by one despite pedestrian 69 at Travelers

Jun 23, 2017; Cromwell, CT, USA; Jordan Spieth hits out of a sand bunker on the 18th hole during the second round of the Travelers Championship golf tournament at TPC River Highlands. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Jordan Spieth had an off day but still found himself in the lead after the second round at the Travelers Championship in Connecticut on Friday.

After opening with a superb 63, Spieth could manage only a pedestrian one-under-par 69 at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell.

“For an off day, to shoot one-under, hopefully that’s the high score for this week,” he told Golf Channel after posting an eight-under 132 total, one stroke ahead of fellow Americans Patrick Reed and Troy Merritt.

Former world number one Spieth missed a couple of short putts in a round marred by two dropped shots at the par-five 13th where his drive sailed out-of-bounds, but he also had his high moments, including a 35-foot birdie at the third.

“I made a double on a birdie hole and that throws you back a few shots but rebounded nicely,” he said.

“The mid-range game I’m feeling a little bit better about (but) I’ve got to put some more work in.”

Reed, a team-mate of Spieth’s at the past two Ryder Cups, moved within a shot of the leader with a 13-foot birdie at the final hole in a testing afternoon breeze.

“Hardest I’ve seen the golf course play in the past couple of years,” said Reed, a five-time PGA Tour winner who is coming off a tie for 13th at last week’s U.S. Open.

Jun 23, 2017; Cromwell, CT, USA; Jordan Spieth walks off the 17th hole during the second round of the Travelers Championship golf tournament at TPC River Highlands. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

“It was windy out there, switching a little bit, not only trying to figure out where the wind coming from but how hard it was blowing made it a little more difficult than yesterday.

“So I’m just happy to shoot a low number and have a chance to win. I feel like the game’s where it needs to be.”

Jun 23, 2017; Cromwell, CT, USA; Jordan Spieth plays his shot from the 12th tee during the second round of the Travelers Championship golf tournament at TPC River Highlands. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The cut fell at even-par 140, with Rory McIlroy making it on the number after bogeying the final hole, where his approach shot came up short of the green after his back foot slipped during his downswing.

Another former world number one, Jason Day, bowed out, missing the cut by two strokes after signing for a score one stroke higher than he actually shot.

He birdied the third hole, but marked down a par on his card.

A player is not disqualified for signing for a higher score, but nor is he allowed to rectify the mistake once he puts his signature on the card.

In this case it was merely academic, because Day would have missed the cut anyway.

Day also missed the cut at the U.S. Open.

Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Ian Ransom

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