BETHESDA, Md. – Jordan Spieth, playing with nothing to lose, gave himself another chance to win going into the weekend at the AT&T National.
Spieth hit every green in regulation Friday and extended his streak to 29 holes without a bogey on a tough Congressional course, giving him a 5-under 66 and a share of the lead with Roberto Castro (69) before storms interrupted the second round.
They were at 7-under 135, with storms soaking the course, it was unlikely the second round would be completed until Saturday morning.
Spieth is the 19-year-old Texan who started the season with no status, uncertain where he would play. He now has earned more than $900,000 – the equivalent of being No. 39 on the PGA Tour money list – and is assured of a tour card in October.
But he won’t be eligible for the lucrative FedEx Cup playoffs unless he’s a PGA Tour member, and he can’t be a member this year unless he wins.
“Honestly, I think it’s a great position to be in,” Spieth said. “I’m just free swinging. I can’t be in the playoffs unless I win, and that makes winning the No. 1 goal.”
D.H. Lee had a 66 and was two shots behind at 5-under 139. Cameron Tringale (67) and James Driscoll (69) were another shot behind, while the group at 3-under 139 included former British Open champion Stewart Cink (69), Gary Woodland (69) and David Lingmerth, who went from around the cut line to contention with a 65.
Spieth has lived up to the hype he first generated when he played late on Sunday in the Byron Nelson Championship at age 16 and tied for 16th. In one year at Texas, the Longhorns won the NCAA title. And in 6 months as a pro, he has shown quickly that he belongs.
He already has four top 10s and has special temporary membership, meaning he gets unlimited exemptions. His goal was to somehow get a PGA Tour card for 2013-14 season, and a win would be over the top.
Even so, the teenager who was born just three years before Tiger Woods turned pro is savvy to realize the tournament is not even halfway over.
“I can’t really think about that at this point,” he said. “There’s a long way to go. I’m kind of free swinging. I’ve gotten in a position where I can play a pretty full schedule this year, and I know I’ll have my card for next year. Now all there’s left to do is try and get a win to make the playoffs. So I’m just going out there trying to win and being aggressive, and hopefully, it will work out for me.”