ERIN, Wis. -- There are plenty of names in red halfway through Day 1 at the 2017 U.S. Open, but Jordan Spieth is not one of them. One of the pre-tournament favorites, the two-time major winner birdied his second hole of the day but failed to build off it, ultimately posting a one-over 73. And unfortunately for Spieth, he was undone by a common foe: his flat stick.
Spieth, whose putting prowess spurred so much of his early success, has gone cold on the greens this year, entering Erin Hills ranked 75th in overall putting average. For context, he led the tour in the category last season. His first-round display was a microcosm of this issue; halfway through the second wave's round, Spieth ranks 129th in strokes gained: putting in the tournament.
In his defense, the 23-year-old was far from the only player in his pairing to struggle on the greens. World No. 1 Dustin Johnson had a tough day as well, needing 2.091 putts per green in regulation, 142nd in the field, to get around Erin Hills. These efforts, or lack thereof, led to a three-over 75 from DJ.
So when asked after his round what happened, Spieth perfectly -- and hilariously -- summed up their plight.
"Neither one of us could make a putt," Spieth said. "I'm surprised Martin could make a couple of them given he was watching me and DJ the whole day. DJ and I will be on the practice green. We might have a pillow fight putting contest, just to see if we can spark anything."
A pillow fight putting contest? A better way to grow the game, there is not.