Jordan Spieth leads Farmers Insurance Open at halfway stage after second round 63
Playing partner Tiger Woods could only manage a one-under par round of 71
First round leader Stewart Cink now second after also shooting a 71 on Friday
While Tiger Woods continues to find his feet at the Farmers Insurance Open in California, the man who many are tipping to be his heir is racing to the front of the pack.
Jordan Spieth fired a second-round 63 at Torrey Pines’ North course on Friday to move one shot ahead of first round leader Stewart Cink, who backed up an opening round 64 with a one-under 71.
The 20-year-old won the John Deere Classic last July to become the first teenage winner on the PGA Tour for 82 years and is now in pole position to claim a second tour title after producing a flawless display which included nine birdies and no bogeys.
“Any time you can shoot a lower score than a 66 or 65 and you can really get it deep and be in a zone and not worry about what your score is … that’s special,” Spieth said, PGATour.com reported.
“That’s proving that I can play my best golf when it matters on a PGA Tour venue. Each time you can do that, you get more and more confident that you can do it more often,” he added.
Woods, who was paired with Spieth, could only manage a one-under 71 to add to an even par opening round.
The 38-year-old has won eight times at Torrey Pines – including 2008 U.S. Open – is now languishing down in a tie for 50th.
“I was just a fraction off, and at this level and on golf courses like this, if you’re just a fraction off it doesn’t take much, especially as tight as the North Course is,” Woods said, PGATOUR.com reported.
“I had so many balls that landed in the fairway that went in the rough. Now I can’t be aggressive, I’ve got to play conservative into some of these flags. When you should be able to fire at some of these flags, I just couldn’t.”
The 14-time major winning admitted before the tournament that time may be running out on his bid to overtake Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major wins. But Woods was generous in his praise of the man who may be a multiple major winner in the future.
“The kid’s got talent. He hits it a long way, phenomenal putter,” Woods said.
“He made a boat load of putts today from the 10- to 20-foot range, and on poa (a type of grass) greens, that’s not easy to do. He was pouring them in there. He had speed to them, too. That’s what you have to do to putt on poa. He putted with a lot of confidence.”
Woods won’t be ruling himself out of the running just yet, despite being nine shots off Spieth’s lead, but will have to produce something spectacular at the weekend.
Closer to the top, Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts has a good chance of breaking his duck on the PGA Tour after a second round 67 took him up to third place at eight under.
America’s Billy Horschel and Australia’s Marc Leishman are currently one shot further back in a tie for fourth.
His compatriot Jason Day had a disappointing second round, limping to a one-over par 73 and drop down into a nine-way tie for 11th on five-under par.
Lee Westwood had a better day on Friday carding a 68 after a disappointing opening round of 73 – the Englishman is now tied for 22nd on three under with, among others, Keegan Bradley who added a 72 to an opening round of 69.
Westwood’s compatriot Ian Poulter will feel he still has an outside chance of victory after repairing the damage of an opening round 75 with an impressive five-under par 67 to leave him on two-under.