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Jordan Spieth overcomes complete shank to contend on day one at Open Championship

Spieth, who won the 2017 Open Championship, battled back to contend Thursday after a brutal shank on the 8th hole.

A Jordan Spieth round never fails to entertain.
Thursday at The Open Championship was no different.After starting with two birdies over his first seven holes, Spieth arrived at the tough par-4 8th at Royal Liverpool sitting at 2-under par.He pushed his tee shot right into some thick rough, leading to a brutal lie.

 

 

Then, he straight-up shanked his second shot, as it went dead right off the blade.“I just had my face wide open, ball above my feet on a really bad lie, trying to flop cut an 8-iron,” Spieth explained. “I feel like I’m as good as anybody at that shot, and I guess the hosel got there first. I’m not really sure.”Spieth’s shank at the 8th led to a double-bogey six; the only double he made all day.

 

 

“That shakes you up a little bit,” Spieth added. “I’ve never hit one before, so it took me a couple of holes to feel like I got my feet back under me. At 9, there was no chance I was hitting anywhere near the heel, so I toe’d that one in the bunker, and then I was fine after that.”The former Texas Longhorn managed to get up and down from the bunker at the par-3 9th, as he put the misery of the 8th in the rearview mirror.On the inward nine, Spieth birdied the 11th, the par-5 15th, and the difficult 16th hole to get back to 3-under for his round.

 

 

But a bad bogey on the par-5 18th gave Spieth his second six of the day as he carded a 2-under 69.Still, any under-par score after having a complete shank is impressive, as Spieth managed to do just that.“I was very pleased with the round,” Spieth said. “I feel like my game has been in a really good place. I felt like the results haven’t necessarily been showing it, but I came in not putting a whole lot of pressure on myself, just knowing that I like Opens.”

 

 

Indeed, Spieth loves playing links golf in the United Kingdom, as he won the 2017 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.Interestingly, Spieth feels that Royal Liverpool plays similarly to the course where he hoisted the Claret Jug.“This course reminds me of Birkdale in that a lot of it is from the air on approach shots,” he noted. “There are more tabletop [greens] here, making it even more challenging. But there are not a lot of old-school links, or I don’t know what to call it but where you can run the ball up. You can’t do that a ton here. That’s not a good or a bad thing; it’s just different.”

Maybe the similarities Spieth sees between Birkdale and Liverpool will yield a similar result to what the world saw in 2017.But as of this writing, midway through the opening round, the 2017 Champion Golfer of the Year sits three shots off the lead.

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