Spieth struggles in Sydney cross-winds

2015-11-26 11:42
Jordan Spieth (AFP)

Sydney - World number one Jordan Spieth trailed five shots behind leader Lincoln Tighe after the first round of the Australian Open in Sydney on Thursday, with the defending champion and double major winner citing tough, windy conditions.

Texas-born Spieth was tied 19th place on the first day after he recorded three birdies and an equal number of bogeys in a level par 71 on the Australian Club course.

Australian Tighe, 26, who is the reigning New South Wales PGA champion and is also into the final qualifying stage of next month's PGA Tour's secondary Tour, meanwhile enjoyed a one shot lead with a five under par 66.

He was followed by fellow Australian Matthew Jones, who shot a 67, as former Australian Open winner Geoff Ogilvy shared third place with Taiwan amateur Chun-An Yu and Australia's Todd Sinnott - all scoring three under par 68s.

Spieth began his day holing a 12-foot right-to-left birdie at the par four 10th hole, which he later singled out as the highlight of a frustrating day.

He then moved to two under par with a birdie at his fifth hole but dropped a shot at the next before getting back to two under par with a birdie at his ninth.

The 22-year old then bogeyed his 13th and final holes where he pulled the wrong club to leave his second shot well short of the green.

"It was difficult out there as we played a lot of holes in side-winds, so it was just a guessing game really," he said.

"It's been a while since I've played in wind like this and with the toughest part in deciding what shot to hit. You can use the same club and end up with a 30-yard difference based on if you hold the ball up or ride the wind."

And there was no better example than at the par-4 ninth hole and the 18th of his round where Spieth's second shot was a good 10-yards short of the putting surface.

"That last hole was really tough as I just didn't know what to hit and I ended up two clubs off, thinking the wind was helping when it was actually hurting," he said.

"Lee (Westwood) and Geoff (Ogilvy) had the same trouble. We just had no idea. But I still should have made par.

"If you give me 100 balls, I'll get down in two 95 times from where I was. It was a brain-fart there."

Tighe is contesting his second Australian Open appearance after missing the cut a year ago.

"I am very pleased as I have always loved the Australian Club as it seems to set up so well for me, so I am not surprised as my game has been good for some time now," he said.

"And this round is good timing as I head back to the States on December 7th for the final round of qualifying for the Tour.

"I am already assured my card but then if I manage to finish top-45 you get a full Tour card."

Australia's Adam Scott gamely fought back from double bogeys at his seventh and ninth holes, managing to complete his inward nine in three under to join Spieth sharing 19th place at level par.

Leading first round scores at the Australian Open on the par 71 Australian Club course, Sydney, Australia on Thursday.

66 - Lincoln Tighe (AUS)

67 - Matthew Jones (AUS)

68 - Geoff Ogilvy (AUS), Chun-An YU (amt - Taiwan), Matthew Jones (AUS), Todd Sinnott (AUS)

69 - Brett Rumford (AUS), Stephen Leaney (AUS), Alistair Presnell (AUS), Joon-woo CHOI (Korea), John Senden (AUS)

70 - Ryan Fox (AUS), Bryson Dechambeau (amt - USA), Lee Westwood (ENG), Stephen Dartnall (AUS), Nick Cullen (AUS), Ryan Ruffels (amt - AUS), Matthew Millar (AUS), Neven Basic (AUS), Grant Thomas (AUS)

71 - Adam Scott (AUS), Rod Pampling (AUS), Jordan Spieth (USA), Terry

Pilkadaris (AUS), Wade Ormsby (AUS), Matthew Guyatt (AUS), Brett Jones (AUS), Adam Blyth (AUS), Harry Bateman (AUS), Mark Baker (USA), Aron Price (AUS), Anthony Huston (AUS), Rory Bourke (AUS).


73 - Nicolas Colsaerts (BEL), Marc Leishman (AUS)

75 - Darren Clarke (NIRL)

Read more on:    australian open  |  jordan spieth  |  golf

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