Jordan Spieth completes bogey-free 64, is early first-round leader at Riviera Country Club

February 15, 2019
Genesis Open - Round One

Stan Badz

PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. — Jordan Spieth polished off a seven-birdie, no-bogey 64 to take the early opening-round lead Friday at Riviera Country Club, where heavy rains wiped out much of play a day earlier.

But the most impressive hole of his round wasn’t one where he made a red number.

Playing the 13th on a wet, breezy and cold Thursday afternoon, he pulled his tee shot left, the ball hitting a tree and settling in the rough just 200 yards off the tee on the par 4. Unable to reach the green in two, he got up and down from more rough 30 yards short of the green to save par.

“It was probably better than any of the birdies,” Spieth said a day later. “I could have been in all sorts of trouble there. I was trying to make a five after the tee ball.”

The save was classic Spieth. So were the two chip-ins he had for birdie on his third hole of the round, the par-4 12th, and another on the par-4 second. Then he added two more on Friday, rolling in a 12-footer on the par-3 sixth and an eight-footer on the par-4 ninth to close out the day.

And though Spieth hit just 10 greens in regulation, he rolled the ball well when he did find the putting surface, with a mark of more than 2 1/2 strokes gained putting and 21 putts in all.

Now he’ll have to wait to see how his score stacks up. Because of the lengthy weather delay, Spieth won’t play his second round until Saturday morning.

“I think less is more at this point,” he said of having the rest of the day off. “I’ll try and get some really good, solid, quick work in and then lay around all day.”