The quest for the career Grand Slam did not end on Thursday at the 2017 PGA Championship.
Jordan Spieth has life although it was a struggle in the first round and it was his best friend who let him down.
“It was just the putter. Everything else was fine,” Spieth lamented after shooting a one-over par 72 at brutally tough Quail Hollow.
“I drove the ball well, struck it pretty good. I was really pleased. If you told me I was going to hit my driver the way I did today, I would have definitely thought I shot a few under par. If it stays that way, I can’t putt worse than I did today,” Spieth recounted.
“I know I’m still in it,” he declared after taking 32 putts for his first 18. “But I know that tomorrow’s round becomes that much more important to work my way and stay in it. I’ve got to make up ground. If I am five back at the start of the day, I’ve got to be less than five shots back after Friday to really feel like I can play the way this golf course needs to be played and still be able to win.”
Spieth will start the second round exactly five shots behind co-leaders Kevin Kisner and Thorbjorn Olesen. Considering their major experience, Spieth doesn’t have to worry about them.
It’s the guys close to them like Dustin Johnson (70), Hideki Matsuyama (70), Brooks Koepka (68), Jon Rahm (70) and Jason Day (70). And there’s Rickie Fowler sitting at 68.
Those are the guys Spieth has to get closer to.
To do that, his putter needs to show up sooner than later.