Reigning Masters and US Open champion Jordan Spieth ratcheted up his preparation for next week’s British Open by firing a seven-under 64 in the second round of the PGA John Deere Classic on Friday.
The world number two found 10 of 14 fairways and reached 13 of 18 greens in regulation in making six birdies and an eagle against a lone bogey to move into contention after an opening 71 at the event he won in 2013 to secure a place on the PGA Tour.
“Today was a big day,” Spieth said. “I made a huge step forward based on how I felt yesterday. I wasn’t feeling good about my game. Ultimately, this was a big day for me in my preparation for next week.”
Spieth hopes to match Ben Hogan as the only player to win the first three majors of the season in the same year, a feat that would give him the chance to complete a calendar year sweep of the majors at next month’s PGA Championship.
Meanwhile, Justin Rose rated his game at just 50 per cent despite remaining firmly in contention to defend his Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open title at Gullane.
Looking to become the first player to win the event two years running following his victory at Royal Aberdeen 12 months ago, Rose carded a second consecutive 66 to join Ryder Cup team-mate Graeme McDowell, Shane Lowry, Ryan Palmer, Matt Nixon and Johan Carlsson in second, three shots behind leader Daniel Brooks.
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The former US Open champion recovered from a bogey on the first with five birdies in the next seven holes, but could only manage nine straight pars on the back nine.
Speaking about his round, Rose said his game was “running at 50 per cent”, adding: “There are still a couple of loose shots that I am getting away with that I wouldn’t on other courses. But I feel like I have managed my game well, played the hard holes well and kept it clean.”
Playing partner Phil Mickelson, who won the 2013 Open a mile down the road at Muirfield, was in danger of missing the halfway cut when he bogeyed the 11th and 12th, but responded in style with a hat-trick of birdies from the 14th to finish three under.
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