Birdies Galore at Byron Nelson: Jordan Spieth ‘Surprised’ By Conditions

Jordan Spieth, 2022 AT&T Byron Nelson, (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Jordan Spieth, 2022 AT&T Byron Nelson, (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) /

Making his first start since winning the RBC Heritage last month, Jordan Spieth once again finds himself in contention heading into the weekend at the AT&T Byron Nelson.

Jordan Spieth is picking up right where he left off this week in Texas. The Texan who is making his first appearance since his spectacular playoff win at the RBC Heritage once again finds himself in contention this week at the 2022 AT&T Byron Nelson.

TPC Craig Ranch, site of this year’s Byron Nelson, made its PGA Tour debut last year. The course proved to be not much of a challenge for the PGA professionals in 2021 as it ranked as one of the easiest courses on the Tour’s schedule last year. K.H. Lee won here in 2021 with a massive 25 under Par tally.

Last year shooting five under through the first two rounds wasn’t good enough to even make the weekend, this year the story is very similar up to this point. Players that shot five under were fortunate enough to stick around for the weekend this time around, but there was no such luck for those that finished at four-under-Par at the halfway point.

Sam Burns, Will Zalatoris, and Luke List all finished Friday at four under and won’t be around for the weekend. Xander Schauffele, Tommy Fleetwood, and Marc Leishman, meanwhile, just did enough to scrape through the cutline.

As for the tally that leads through two rounds? It’s a three-way tie at the top with Sebastian Munoz, who led after round one, Ryan Palmer, and David Skinns all at fifteen under Par. It is still early, but matching or bettering the -25 winning score from last year is still very much a realistic possibility.

Jordan Spieth finds himself in a Texas shootout this week at the Byron Nelson.

The three-time Major champion finds himself three shots behind the leaders going into Saturday, this coming after opening with a (-5) 67 and (-7) 65 to begin his week. In what was arguably the highlight of Jordan Spieth’s round on Friday, he once again produced a moment of brilliance in typical Spieth-like fashion on the Par 4,10th hole.

An errant tee shot had left Spieth facing a tricky situation for his second as his ball had come to rest near the base of a tree. Jordan then somehow managed to avoid contacting the tree with his backswing as he sent his ball racing up the fairway and remarkably onto the green in two.

The incredible Par save conjured up by Jordan Spieth enabled him to keep the momentum of his round going as he went on to record three consecutive birdies over the next three holes. Jordan finished his second round with eight birdies and just one bogey on the scorecard.

Scoring conditions at TPC Craig Ranch were favorable on Thursday, and on Friday things got even easier for those out on the course. The first round scoring average this week was -1.79 strokes under Par, on Friday that margin increased to -2.88.

The easy conditions and setup this week caught Jordan Spieth off guard.

"” I think I said ahead of time I thought that it would show a little more teeth than last year and I couldn’t have been more wrong. I mean a 60 yesterday and a lot of 8s and 7s all over the board. I mean it’s just, a lot of tees are up, it was very surprising,” Spieth said."

The Texan will need to prepare for a birdie shootout and for more of the same heading into the weekend as things don’t appear like they will change much over the next two days. The course is continuing to present itself as one of the easiest on the PGA Tour and that lends itself to being a completely wide-open tournament where any player can come from multiple shots back to take the title.

Jordan Spieth is conscientious of trying not to press himself too much this weekend at a tournament that he would really love to win.

“I tried to press for so many years and it never has worked out. Last year I think Sunday I really tried to press, I knew I needed a low one, I think I only shot 1-under or something. In a good position but who’s to say that 20-under’s not leading at the end of this day, so I could be way back,” he talked about following his second round.

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Spieth has put himself in a good position once again heading into the weekend and he has every opportunity of coming away from this week with a second consecutive PGA Tour victory before he heads into the PGA Championship next week.