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Jordan Spieth one back of leaders Jason Dufner, David Lingmerth at the Memorial

June 01, 2017

Sam Greenwood

Jordan Spieth already has had an interesting 2017 season and it's only June 1. His last two months alone have included a T-11 at the Masters, two top-five finishes, two missed cuts, two putter changes and more than a couple of questions about the state of his game.

After nearly breaking through last week at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational, which would have been his second win of the season, the two-time major champion appears to be just fine. On Thursday at the Memorial Tournament, he shot a six-under 66, putting him one stroke behind leaders David Lingmerth and Jason Dufner.

Spieth, 23, began his day on the back nine, where he got to three-under through six, but gave two strokes back on the difficult par-4 17th and 18th holes. Rather than fade, the world No. 6 caught fire, shooting a bogey-free five-under 31 on the front nine (his back). He capitalized on both par-5s, including the difficult uphill seventh, where he put his 131-yard approach to within 10-feet and holed the birdie. On his final hole of the day, the par-4 ninth, Spieth nearly jarred his 138-yard approach and tapped it in for birdie, sending him into Friday's second round on a high note.

The leaders, meanwhile, each shot seven-under 65s, taking very different approaches to get there. Dufner, 40, was bogey-free until his final hole, the par-4 18th. His round was highlighted by a 247-yard approach shot into the par-5 seventh that left him a seven-foot putt for eagle, which he holed. Lingmerth, whose lone PGA Tour victory came at the 2013 Memorial, had a much more colorful scorecard. The Swede's round featured three bogeys, eight birdies, and an eagle on the par-5 15th.

Alongside Spieth at six-under is Daniel Summerhays, who is in search of his first win on the PGA Tour. Justin Thomas, Sam Saunders and Lucas Glover each shot five-under 67s and are two back.

Jason Day wasn't able to capitalize on his home course, shooting a three-over 75.