Spieth confident of making ground in changing Royal Troon conditions


Jordan Spieth believes the prospective change in conditions at Royal Troon will enable him to make up ground at The Open after shooting level par for the first round.

Spieth, winner of The Masters and the U.S. Open in 2015, was left to settle for an opening 71 on Thursday, his birdies at four, six and 17 cancelled out by dropped shots on the ninth, 11th and the last.

With heavy rain and south-westerly winds forecast for Friday, Spieth conceded he will be unable to be aggressive on the front nine but expects the weather to help him pull closer to the leaders, with compatriot Patrick Reed the clubhouse leader at five under.

"I struck the ball tremendously just couldn't quite matchup the speed and line," Spieth told a media conference. "[It's] unfortunate to happen in a tournament round where I'm giving myself a lot of looks at birdie but if that's what's off, that's a lot better than anything else, I can get that back on.

"It just seemed like it didn't want to go in the hole once I got on the greens, number 11 I hit a fantastic putt, if I hit another five times in a row on the exact same speed, same line it probably goes in three out of the five.

"With the greens the speed they are and the grass a little taller than what we're used to, the ball kind of wiggles a little bit. That can mean it wiggles in for you or out for you.

"Your mind gets a little bit off once you feel like you hit a few good putts that don't go in.

"I've probably hit it as well as anybody in the field and shot five six shots below the leaders, that normally doesn't happen for me, that's normally my really low round. If I can keep my rhythm and my swing as we lead into these tougher condition days, I should be able to make up some strokes."

Asked how he will change his gameplan in the wet and windy conditions, the Texan added: "If it's what's forecasted it looks like we've got rain while we're warming up and it might start to diminish as we start and come back in on the back nine with an opposite wind.

"So instead of looking at trying to take advantage of those early holes on the front nine, you're looking at 'okay par's a good score, let's find the middle of the greens here and see if we can get the putter into the rhythm'.

"So that's how it will change, less aggressive on the front nine and potentially more on the back."