Spieth tied for lead af­ter 12 holes at rainy Riviera

The Tribune (SLO) - - Sports - BY DOUG FER­GU­SON


One of the wildest pars Phil Mick­el­son ever made didn’t even count. Nei­ther did one of the worst lies Jor­dan Spieth ever had.

Fifty min­utes into the start of the Ge­n­e­sis Open, with only 30 play­ers hav­ing teed off, the open­ing round was scrapped be­cause of in­creas­ing rain that soaked Riviera and poor vis­i­bil­ity that made it un­usu­ally tough on the ear­li­est of starters.

Ev­ery­one started over af­ter what amounted to a seven-hour de­lay, and Spieth made the most of his se­cond chance.

He chipped in twice for birdie, made birdie on all three par 5s and was at 5-un­der par through 12 holes. He was tied for the lead with Sung Kang, who was through 14 holes.

Tiger Woods never made it to the course. He was to play in the af­ter­noon and faces a long day of as many holes as he can get in Fri­day in what now be­comes a long, dis­jointed week try­ing to catch up. “Cer­tainly got some good breaks,” Spieth said. None was big­ger than the de­ci­sion to restart the round. Spieth hit his tee shot on the short par-4 10th to the left, nor­mally a good place to be ex­cept that his ball hit the cart path, hit it again, bounded across the for­ward tee at No. 11 and dis­ap­peared into shin-high grass so deep he could barely see his ball.

If he could have played from there, par would have been a chal­lenge. And then the horn blew to sus­pend play be­cause of wet con­di­tions, and a few hours later, the PGA Tour thought it was best to scrap the round.

It was the first time in more than five years on the PGA Tour that a round started over.

That was great news to Spieth, who hit his tee shot left of the green near a tree, pitched to 15 feet and walked away with par.

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