4/7/2018 9:50:12 PM (GMT+3)

I’ve taken a lot of punches on this golf course, says Spieth

I’ve taken a lot of punches on this golf course, says Spieth

AUGUSTA, USA: Jordan Spieth, who led on the first day, rallied with a 2-under effort on the back nine to end the day 2-over par and 4-under overall at the midway mark of the tournament.

“I’ve taken a lot of punches on this golf course,” Spieth said in an interview on the tournament website. “So to come back from 3-over through two holes and only shoot 2-over with a limited number of looks, it’s not so bad. I’m still in this golf tournament.”

The 24-year-old won the 2015 Masters Tournament and was runners-up in 2014 and 2016.

Friday’s windy conditions and quick greens challenged the entire field of 87 golfers, including Spieth, who McIlroy said “knows and loves this course.”

Spieth hit 7 of 14 fairways, 12 greens in regulation and took 33 putts compared to 24 on Thursday.

“I just had two really bad tee shots to start the day on the first two holes. Then the course was very difficult today,” added Spieth.

Spieth was seen on the tee box at No. 3 talking to himself and the personal pep talk helped steady his round with four straight pars.

“I told myself (on No.3 tee box) ‘this is an easy tee shot; you can’t screw this one up,’ ” said the American professional.

The Dallas native also knows he was able to salvage his bad start because of his remarkable patience.

“Probably half and half, I’d say,” said Spieth when asked what percentage of his salvaged round was skill and what was talent.  “I’m not going to downgrade my skill level but I’m also not going to downgrade my ability to fight back on this course.”