PGA Tour

Hoffman leads, Spieth struggles

2015-09-06 08:28
Charley Hoffman (AFP)

Norton - Charley Hoffman fired an eight-under 63 Saturday to take the halfway lead at the Deutsche Bank Championship where his sparkling effort was overshadowed by Jordan Spieth's second straight missed cut.

American Hoffman, who is hoping to make the US Presidents Cup team this week, finished at 12-under 130 and is three shots ahead of Brendon de Jonge of Zimbabwe at the TPC Boston.

Australia's Matt Jones (67) was tied for third at eight under in a group with three Americans Zach Johnson (65), Kevin Chappell (67) and Rickie Fowler (67).

PGA Champion Jason Day shot his second straight 68 and was tied for 10th, six shots behind Hoffman while Northern Ireland's world number one Rory McIlroy birdied 18 Saturday to shoot 74 and just sneak into the third round above the cut line.

Day and world number one McIlroy started the week in a battle for the top ranking along with Spieth -- who was the biggest surprise of the day.

The 22-year-old reigning Masters and US Open champion stumbled to a two-over 73 which meant he missed consecutive cuts as an amateur or professional on the USPGA Tour the first time in his young career.

"It is almost like a bad dream. Just wake up and get the putts to go again," said Spieth, who added he is going to take a few days off after Saturday's disappointing round.

Spieth had bogeys on three of his final six holes as he finished 36 holes at six-over 148.

Spieth, who is his own biggest critic, admitted his confidence is shaken.

"I had really bad self talk this week, something I hadn't experienced in quite awhile," Spieth said. "Maybe heightened by everything that has happened this year.

"Not only was I out of it, but I was also outside the cutline and maybe that heightened my self talk."

It was just the fourth missed cut of the season for Spieth who was seeking to rebound this week after failing to get into the weekend action last week at The Barclays in New Jersey.

"I am going to take some time away. Probably be good for me to take at least four days and not touch a club," he said, adding he would be mentally and physically ready for the BMW Championship, the third of four events in the FedEx Cup playoffs.

"I need to walk with some cockiness in my step these next two tournaments.

"I can control that walking with the cockiness whether things are going good or bad and that is what you have to have inside the ropes. I will bring it when we get to Chicago."

Spieth's two week stint as world number one came to an abrupt end at The Barclays, with McIlroy regaining the top spot even though he didn't play last week.

Spieth had toppled McIlroy from the number one ranking three weeks ago with a runner-up finish to Day at the PGA Championship.

Of golf's top trio, Day is playing the best at TPC Boston. He got off to a shaky start with two pars followed by a bogey on No. 3 before settling in to his round.

Day birdied a couple of par-fours at No. 4 and No. 6 and then finished the front nine with three straight pars.

Day began the back nine with consecutive birdies at 10 and 11, then parred the next seven to finish the day at three-under.He said he needed to drive it better on the weekend, to give himself better approaches into the greens.

"I did hit a lot of greens, but I just didn't get it close enough to the hole and to try and hole 40-footers all day it's very difficult to do," he said. "I've got to try and straighten it up for the weekend."

Day said Spieth's problems appear to be more mental than physical.

"Who knows what's going on inside his head," Day said. "We can analyze his swing, analyze why he's not putting well, not chipping the way he was prior to these last two tournaments. But upstairs, we can't read that.

"It is a lot of pressure for a 22-year-old kid even though he has had a stellar year."

Former Deutsche Bank winner McIlroy also struggled in his second round.

McIlroy, playing just his second tournament since a left ankle injury sidelined him in July, made bogey on four of his final six holes to finish at 74. He was on two-over 144 to sit 14 shots off the lead.

Read more on:    pga tour  |  jordan spieth  |  golf

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