SPRINGFIELD, N.J. — Jordan Spieth withstood seeing his tee shot land under a spectator’s folding chair on one hole and endured a complex nine-minute rules interpretation on another and still ended up in contention at 3 under par Friday.
His 67 included a bogey 5 on No. 7 after he took a drop from a puddle on a cart path. There was some speculation that his foot still was in the puddle — a possible sign that he had not taken complete relief — but was cleared by a rules official.
“I would have never hit if I was not told it was OK,” Spieth said.
Phil claws back after triple
Phil Mickelson’s day began with a tee shot that touched down on Shunpike Road, way left of the first fairway, and another that went far right. He made triple-bogey 7 on that first hole, but he still made the cut at 1 over. He completed his round of par 70 with a tap-in birdie on the par-5 18th.
“I had just the worst start. It was a pure mental block,” he said. “After just making the cut, I’m able to scale back my expectations for the week.”
Rory McIlroy, playing in the same group, shot 1-under 69 but finished 3 over, missing the cut by one.
LI pros miss cut
None of the Long Island pros, or any of the 20 club pros, made the cut. Deepdale Golf Club assistant Ben Polland appeared to be on his way, having made the turn (from the back nine to the front) at 1 under, but made 7 on the par-4 seventh and finished at 5 over. “He’ll learn from this, like he has learned from everything else,” said his friend and Deepdale predecessor Matt Dobyns.
Dobyns, the head pro at Fresh Meadow, also finished 5 over, which was not terrible, considering he battled a stomach virus all week. He cited inconsistent play around the greens. “I just did things you can’t do as a head pro and expect to do better than miss the cut by a couple of shots,” he said.
Mark Brown, head pro at Tam O’Shanter, finished at 6 over.
Beef: To the pool
Andrew “Beef” Johnston continued to receive big cheers and left with his customary big smile after finishing 1 under. No afternoon practice under the hot sun for him. “I’m going to the pool,” the Englishman said, adding with a hearty laugh that he is neither a breaststroke nor backstroke specialist. “No, no, no, no, no. I just like jumping in, man, cooling down, that’s about it. Then I’ll float around for a little bit.”