Jordan Spieth leads high-profile exodus from Houston Open

Ewan Murray in Houston
Jordan Spieth, pictured at last week’s WGC Match Play in Austin, had a second-round 77 in Houston to miss the cut before next week’s Masters. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Jordan Spieth led a high-profile exodus from the Houston Open after 36 holes, the two-time major winner stumbling to a 77 on Friday in Texas. Spieth joined his fellow major champions Henrik Stenson and Adam Scott in missing the cut. Lee Westwood and Patrick Reed also failed to survive for the weekend.

The woes of Spieth proved the most surprising, only days before the Masters and on a course he has competed on in the past. He recorded only one birdie when falling the wrong side of the cut line, before denying it might be a blessing with a grim Houston weather forecast for the weekend. “We come into every tournament with the idea that we want to win that week and our focus is on that week,” Spieth said. “So it is a bit disappointing in that sense.”

What followed was a note of defiance with Augusta in mind. “I don’t have two weekends in a row off very often,” he added. “A few years ago we missed the cut here and we had a chance to win on Sunday at the Masters, so I’m not considering myself out of next week. We know and the other players that are playing next week know that we strike fear in others next week.

“So, that’s our idea, that’s going to be my confidence level going in, and we’ll step on the 1st tee ready to play.”

Reed’s second round of 69 was not sufficient recovery from an opening 77. Stenson backed up a 74 with 74 and Scott matched Spieth’s day-two score despite opening with a 68.

At the summit of proceedings, the inspired Korean Sung Kang remains the man to catch and is on course for Masters qualification after he produced a 63 to move to 16 under par.

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