Spieth finishes first round with a 68

Updated: May 21, 2010, 11:42 PM ET
By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com

Jordan SpiethRay Carlin/Icon SMIDallas' Jordan Spieth, 16, birdied two holes early Friday morning to complete his first round at 2-under 68, two shots off the lead at the HP Byron Nelson Championship.

IRVING, Texas -- Dallas 16-year-old amateur Jordan Spieth, playing in his first PGA Tour event, shot a 2-under 68 and is tied for 17th place after completing the first round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship on Friday morning.

Spieth, a high school junior at Jesuit College Prep School in Dallas, is vying to become the sixth-youngest player in PGA Tour history to make the cut in a Tour event. The top 70 players and ties will advance to play during the weekend.

Hunter Mahan and Steve Elkington were among a group of seven golfers tied for the lead at 4-under 66 after the first round was completed early Friday morning prior to the beginning of the second round.

Spieth was even-par through his first 11 holes at TPC Four Seasons Resort and Club when play was stopped due to darkness Thursday. The 3-hour, 45-minute weather delay forced 66 players to resume play Friday morning.

Spieth, the reigning U.S. Junior Amateur champion, birdied the par-5 seventh hole Friday morning after getting up and down from a tough lie near a greenside bunker. He also rolled in a 10-foot putt for birdie on No. 9, his final hole.

He had another large contingent following his every shot, and they roared when the putt fell to end his first round.

"I could look back and talk about opportunities I missed," Spieth said. "I hung in there for a while early today and got some crucial up and downs. I feel real comfortable right now with my putter and hopefully I can carry the momentum."

Spieth said he spent the night near the course and woke up at 5:45 a.m. CT feeling ready to play.

"I felt a little pumped up, but I wouldn't say I was nervous today," said Spieth, who was committed to play college golf at the University of Texas.

Spieth, playing on a sponsor's exemption, is the youngest player to compete in the HP Byron Nelson Championship. Tiger Woods was 17 when he played in 1993. He shot 77-72 and missed the cut.

Richard Durrett covers golf for ESPNDallas.com. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.

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