SOUTHPORT, England (Reuters) - Jordan Spieth was a contented man after battling strong winds and torrential rain to move clear of the field in the British Open second round on Friday.
The American world number three shot 69 to follow an opening 65 and finished on six under par, two strokes ahead of compatriot Matt Kuchar, as his bid for a third major title gathered momentum.
“We got in at six under and it was a very, very solid day,” Spieth told reporters. “Very pleased with the score.”
The highlight of his round came at the 15th hole where Spieth played a low fairway wood to 15 feet from the pin and drained the putt for an eagle.
“I didn’t hit a great drive,” he said. “With a nifty lie, I had a 3-iron out and I changed to 3-wood and let it just slide. It was the smart shot and it was really nice to capitalise on it.”
Although he made his fourth bogey of the second round at the next hole, the American was more than happy with his day’s work.
”I feel great right now,“ the 23-year-old said. ”Anytime you’re in the last group on a weekend in a major you get nervous.
“But I enjoy it because as long as I approach it positively and recognise that this is what you want to feel because you’re in a position you want to be in, then the easier it is to hit solid shots and to create solid rounds.”
Spieth’s two major victories came in 2015 at the U.S. Masters and U.S. Open. He also finished tied fourth in the British Open that year.
“There will be nerves, for sure, in the next couple of days but controlling ball off the tee takes a lot out of it,” he said.
Spieth is looking forward to playing on Saturday with Kuchar, his Ryder Cup team mate.
“Kooch is tough because he’s so consistent,” Spieth said. “He knows how to play his game. He knows his strengths. He knows his weaknesses and he knows how to play away from them. It will be fun.”
Editing by Pritha Sarkar