Open leader Spieth: I would have gladly stayed on the couch

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Jordan Spieth climbed to the summit of The Open leaderboard on Friday, but ahead of his second-round 69 the couch held more appeal to the American than the Royal Birkdale course.

The two-time major winner, who is seeking his first Claret Jug, was watching the early starters on television very much aware of the grim forecast that was set to bring torrential rain to join the high winds.

And he would have been content to maintain that watching brief, only to find that his round turned out better than he had hoped for, leaving him two shots ahead of Matt Kuchar and three clear of Ian Poulter.

"I would have gladly stayed on the couch," he said. 

"I was watching the coverage [hoping] for even par and I'd still be there right now. I would have loved that.

"I knew it was going to get windy. It was up to ... 100 per cent chance of rain by four or five. The wind was going to drop maybe five miles an hour, but it was going to get wet.

"That was only going to make it play harder than what it was playing this morning. And I saw from this morning it wasn't playing easy.

"So at that point this morning it was tough watching. It wasn't a great feeling knowing we were coming into something harder than what we were watching."

Spieth failed to make an impact at the 2016 Open, when he struggled in abysmal conditions on the Friday at Royal Troon.

He feels that experience has put him in good stead to deal with whatever Birkdale may have to throw at him.

"When we played in that afternoon on Friday I think was the worst stuff I've ever played in," he said.

"It was just absolutely sheets of sideways rain is how I described it. It was brutal.

"We didn't really experience anything like that here. I didn't think the conditions got as bad as, when I was sitting on the couch this morning, what we expected.

"They were very tough. I thought it was going to be like that for a lot of the round and I thought even par was an eight-under round when I was sitting on the couch."