Jordan Spieth shares lead at hometown AT&T Byron Nelson

ByJason Sobel ESPN logo
Friday, May 20, 2016

IRVING, Texas -- Late in his AT&T Byron Nelson second round, Jordan Spieth found his name atop one of the tournament's on-course leaderboards -- the first time he's led an event since the Masters, two starts ago.

"The Masters felt like it was quite a while ago," he said. "That's why I'm getting the questions, 'Was it nice to have your name back on top?' Well, I mean, two tournaments ago. It does feel like a while, though."

Here at the hometown event he started attending as a toddler, he's hoping this tournament ends differently thanlast month's Masters did.

Spieth followed an opening-round 64 with a 5-under 65 on Friday to set a personal mark for lowest opening 36-hole total in his PGA Tour career. With all players who had morning tee times finished, Spieth was tied for the lead with Brooks Koepka (64) and Bud Cauley (65).

First-round co-leader Sergio Garcia was among those playing afternoon rounds. Garcia ended the first round tied at 7 under with Danny Lee and Johnson Wagner, who played in the morning Friday. Lee shot a 69 in the second round and Wagner a 70.

Starting on the back nine at the TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas host venue, Spieth posted a 31 with a bogey for his first nine holes. The second nine were less exciting and more workmanlike -- eight pars to go with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 seventh hole.

"Just took advantage of the easier holes," he said of the round. "Had a couple longer putts go in today and found both of the par-5s in two to two-putt and tap in on those two birdies. So, very limited mistakes. I three-putted 13 twice, and that's really the only mistakes that I've made this week."

Despite hitting 33 of 36 greens in regulation during the first two rounds, Spieth maintained that he's been disappointed with his ballstriking and would like to improve his proximity to the hole with his approach shots.

"I still got pretty frustrated at times, because I would have a really good wedge number to a bowl pin where it can feed from anywhere around the hole," he said. "That should be within 10 feet all day. I've got 40 feet on the other side of the green. It's extremely frustrating without having control at impact."

All of which could bode well for the weekend.

Asked whether it's a good sign that he's in contention without his best stuff, Spieth nodded and smiled.

"Great sign," he said. "You certainly feel like you have full control over the ball every time you step over it, but that's just not reality in golf. I'd like to have a bit more. I don't feel like I'm tied for the lead right now, not the feeling I have when I stand over an iron shot. But when I stand over my putter right now, it's back to where we like to have it."

Still two months shy of his 23rd birthday, Spieth is seeking his eighth career PGA Tour victory. Despite playing in the AT&T Byron Nelson on five previous occasions, he's never finished better than a share of 16th place, which came when he was 16 years old.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.