On Friday, for example, the Dallas native pulled more magic out of his Under Armor hat, this time with a simple save in the 10th hole at TPC Craig Ranch, when he recast his backswing to punch on the green.
“I didn’t know how the ball got there. I thought it was kind of right behind the tree right out of the tee box,” said Spieth. “I could line up maybe on the left side of the green bunker the left side, so if I could get a good hit to somehow it. I could have had enough of the cut-off spin, I knew it, I just needed the carry far enough to withstand the rough. I wasn’t quite sure. Maybe I wasn’t expecting to hit the green but I thought taking it out near the front of the green was definitely a possibility.
“When you spend a few years getting a lot of those shots, you start learning how to hit them and so when you play better and you happen to be in a tough spot you get a little bit, you have a little more practice, I think it’s the best way to put it in.”
– PGA Tour (PGATOUR) May 13, 2022
This practice continues to make Spieth in useful positions, even if all aspects of his game don’t quite click as he pleases.
On Friday at AT&T Byron Nelson spotted his racket, but the driver was starting to let him down a bit. However, Spieth did enough to stay near the top of the leaderboard, pairing eight Birds with one Specter to launch the 65. As the weekend approached, Spieth was 12 under and after the early wave of action, sitting behind the captain and his teammate three-shot Texan Ryan Palmer.
When asked if he only cuddles in trees at 10, he recalled similar escape events last year at TPC Craig Ranch, one in 11th and one in 12th. Spieth continues to find trouble, then Houdini goes free, though he sometimes prefers the less exciting route. .
“I’ve been driving really well, and I didn’t have to worry so much about these things,” said Speth. “Today I didn’t drive it as well as yesterday but I don’t plan on taking those situations anymore but it’s good to see if I’m inside, we can figure out a way out of it. Those are the fun things to go back to, but boring golf is The best for sure.”
If birds are boring, Craig Ranch is too boring this week. Scores continued to decline after Sebastian Munoz scored 60 goals on Thursday. In fact, by the time Munoz hit the tee on Friday, he had already slipped back to fourth. The University of North Texas producer struggled out of the gate, but fought back to get to the under 15, tied up with Ryan Palmer and 40-year-old rookie David Skinns on top of the leaderboard.
As for Palmer, a hot racket has helped put him in a position to tackle a 12-year drought in singles events (he won the Zurich Classic with John Ram in 2019). The Amarillo native and DFW resident shot 62 a day.
“You never know when you’re going to go out and shoot a sub-10 round, for sure,” Palmer said. “I knew my game was in good shape, and had a great finish last night to finish the 5-under shooting day. I felt more like a 12-year-old Munoz. But today it was about knowing you had to shoot low, and he put in a good number just because Stay within walking distance.
“You never know when you’re going to catch a thunderbolt like this and make 10 birds today is such a great feeling, especially in front of some fans and some friends and family.”
As for the course, it has been a welcome second year in a row since moving to Craig Ranch. Last year’s six-streak final was the lowest in the event’s history. This year, the number was less than 5.
“I think I said early on I thought he’d show a little more teeth than last year and I couldn’t be more wrong with that,” said Speth. “I mean 60 yesterday and a lot of 8 and 7 on the board. I mean just, a lot of tees were lifted, it was very surprising. … I think they were looking at the weekend as a lot less wind and so they used more pins which are easier on the The first two days because I can only name one or two pins on this golf course wasn’t the easiest of the two greens out there.
“So maybe that’s the reason, I’m not sure. I’m a little surprised at the way they, on a golf course not that hard, set it up a little bit easier for us too.”