Spieth struggles with Australian Open ´guessing game´

Jordan Spieth says strong wind left him playing a “guessing game” when he started the defence of his Australian Open title with an even-par round of 71, five shots adrift of surprise leader Lincoln Tighe.

Spieth was crowned champion at The Australian Golf Club 12 months ago and all eyes are on the world number one again in Sydney this week.


The 22-year-old Texan made three birdies and as many bogeys on Thursday in what he called “boring golf” as he found life difficult in blustery conditions on the opening day of the 100th Australian Open.

“We played a lot of those holes in side-winds. It was just a guessing game really,” the Masters and U.S. Open champion said.

“And when you bring hazards into play it makes things even harder. It’s been a while since I’ve played in wind like this. The toughest part is deciding what shot to hit. It’s hard to pick the shot.

“You can use the same club and end up with a 30 yards’ difference based on if you hold the ball up or ride the wind.

“I hit two fairways on the back nine. Even though conditions were tough, I could have driven the ball better. Or I could have taken less club to makes sure I found the fairway. So decision-making was definitely a challenge.”

Australian Tighe holds a one-shot lead over compatriot Matthew Jones as a result of his impressive 66.

The 26-year-old from Wollongong gave himself a great chance of securing one of the three qualifying places for The Open at Royal Troon next year after making seven birdies and dropping just two shots.

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