Jordan Spieth shoots 69, tied for 31st
IRVING, Texas -- As far as encores go, Jordan Spieth's wasn't bad.
The Jesuit High School senior shot a 69 in the first round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship at TPC Four Seasons Resort on Thursday, leaving him five shots off the lead and tied for 31st.
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Spieth electrified the Nelson crowd last year by finishing tied for 16th, and he had the largest following of the day on Thursday, filled mostly, it seemed, with Jesuit classmates.
Things started poorly for Spieth with bogeys on two of the first three holes, but he quickly rallied with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5.
"The first three holes I was shaking," Spieth said. "I thought I'd be ready. I thought it would be a little easier. Fact is I wasn't and I lost a couple shots just based off the nerves that I think I can get back over the next couple of days."
Perhaps the biggest roar from the crowd came when he chipped in for par on No. 6 from 49 feet.
"It was hauling when it went in," Spieth said. "If that didn't go in I would've had to make a 10-footer for bogey, I guess. Thank the golf gods for that one."
On Nos. 11-14, Spieth made two birdies (11 and 13), a bogey (14) and double bogey (12). He had a birdie on the par-3 17th to get back to 1-under on the day and left a birdie putt short on 18. Overall, Spieth hit eight of 14 fairways in regulation and 10 of 14 greens.
"I wasn't driving the ball well at all," said Spieth, who opened last year's Nelson with a 68. "My stroke felt as best as it's ever felt. I was starting putts right on line and when I'd miss they'd roll right by the lip. I just couldn't get myself in position. The hardest holes here, like 12 and 14, you can't miss either one to the right and I hit it way right and played them 3-over. Just kind of dumb mistakes looking back on it, but I'm glad I was able to get a birdie coming in to make me happy. Hopefully I can take advantage of those holes tomorrow."
Todd Archer is a reporter and columnist for ESPNDallas.com.