Triple major-winning Jordan Spieth was a rockin’ and a rollin’ atop of the board with his lowest opening round in over two years, producing a sizzling 63 to secure a one-shot lead on the opening day of the FedEx St. Jude Championship.
Spieth produced an eagle and five birdies in a flawless display over the host TPC Southwind course.
The Texan capped his round by holing a 50-foot chip-shot for an eagle-three at the par-5 16th to end day one of the opening FedEx Cup Play-Off series event at seven-under and one clear of South Korean Tom Kim.
The last occasion Spieth kick-started any tournament with a 63 was in late May 2021 on route to second place finish at the Charles Schwab in his home state of Texas, and previously opened the 2017 Travelers Championship with the same number whereas and converted that into one of his 16 PGA Tour triumphs to date.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 10, 2023
After his round, Spieth was quizzed on the aspects of his game had he been working on since his last competitive start where he finished 23rd at last month’s Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.
“Quite a bit of putting,” he said. “I played really well at the British. Tee to green, I played well enough to win. I didn’t feel like I missed many of my lines. I just couldn’t quite get the matching of the line and speed on the greens.
“Now we come to slopey Bermuda and very fast, slopey Bermuda where I feel a little more comfortable picking lines and kind of feeding the ball in using gravity. I think that helped, along with quite a bit of work as best I could in Texas right now, which is really from the hours of 7:00 a.m. to noon before it’s almost unbearable.
“Just tightened some things up. I tried to play a lot just to shoot scores. I had kind of taken off playing a bunch, and I think that that helped a bit in the last couple weeks”.
Spieth arrived in Memphis looking to secure a first PGA Tour title in well over a year having captured the 2022 RBC Heritage in a play-off but then lost out in a play-off to Matt Fitzpatrick whilst defending the event back in April.
“I was telling Michael [Greller, Spieth’s caddie] maybe sometime on the back nine, I was like, I feel good, but it doesn’t quite feel as tight as some of the days in the last week or so ball-striking,” said Speith.
“Then all of a sudden I ended up hitting a good one on 15 and then chipping in on 16, and all of a sudden, now it’s three strokes better, so it’s like, how can you not — yeah, I think it was solid, but I will say that I was using the entire — I used the heel of the driver a lot today, and I don’t want to keep doing it.
“I’ve been driving the ball really, really nicely and everything kind of goes from there. If I feel really confident stepping into a driver, getting in front of some shots and hitting some nice ones, that normally feeds to the rest of the bag, so I’d like to improve a bit on just where — I hit some fairways, but I hit some pretty far off the heel and then I toed one on 17.
“Just kind of getting some contact on the middle of the face again”.
Speith arrived in Memphis lying 31st on the FedEx Cup standings and a win here could see him climb as many as 28 places to third going into next week’s BMW Championship.