Jordan Spieth has a ways to go if he wants to complete the career Grand Slam this weekend at the PGA Championship, but he made small, steady strides Friday and shot a four-under 66 to move into red figures.
Following a shaky opening-round showing Thursday that was haunted by a double-bogey on No. 1, Spieth appeared more poised on the grounds at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, Missouri, and now sits at three under overall through 36 holes.
Spieth started his day on the back nine, and he instantly looked like he was in a more comfortable, confident zone—especially with his short irons.
That much was evident on the par-four 11th when Spieth produced a picture-perfect approach that allowed him to register his first birdie of the day and move to even-par for the championship:
The world No. 8 added another birdie on the par-three 16th to keep things trending in the right direction:
However, it may have been a pair of pars that were the most encouraging signs from Spieth. Take the par-five 17th, for instance, when Spieth landed in the hazard off the tee and was forced to take a drop, much to his dismay:
Once that frustration subsided, the 25-year-old regained his composure and nearly holed out for birdie before carding a five :
Spieth's scrambling skills were also on display at No. 15.
After his tee shot landed in the woods, the three-time major champion came up with a 216-yard approach that landed within 15 feet of the hole. And once again, he avoided dropping a shot and avoided a crippling collapse that could have sent him spiraling outside of the cut line.
Thanks to those clutch moments, Spieth was able to maintain a blemish-free scorecard that was capped off by birdies at No. 5 and No. 8.
There's still loads of work for Spieth to do on moving day if he wants to have a shot at a top-10 finish, but Friday's round at least suggested that's not out of the realm of possibility as the action starts to heat up in the Midwest.