The 22-year-old reigning Masters and US Open champion stumbled to a two-over 73 which meant he missed consecutive cuts as an amateur or professional on the USPGA Tour the first time in his young career.
A three-putt bogey prompted an awful run of four dropped shots in five holes which left him right on the cut mark at three over, although he regained his composure to get up and down from a greenside bunker for a welcome birdie at the last.
First round leader Brendon de Jonge is alone in second, three shots back from Hoffman at 9-under for the tournament.
“Normally my mental game is a strength of mine”, said 21-year-old American Spieth, who missed the cut by three strokes having been five behind the mark at last week’s Barclays event. In frustration, Spieth mockingly took his putter all the way back like a full swing before tapping in the bogey putt.
Spieth has a knack for bouncing back quickly. “Just try to keep doing what I’m doing, making a lot of putts and hitting a decent amount of fairways for me, which is a nice combo”. It’s easy to watch Day now and say he’s the best player, but McIlroy and Spieth have been more consistent. After a week off, the FedEx Cup playoffs resume with the BMW Championship just outside of Chicago and conclude with the Tour Championship in Atlanta.
Reflecting on his chip at the 17th, he added: “It’s amusing, the thing that has been letting me down most has probably been my short game in the last few months, so I’ve worked so hard at that. They’re rolling absolutely great, so I expect some good scores”, he said, knowing his morning round might have benefitted from the lack of basic foot traffic that a green indures at any golf tournament.
Ray stated that as long as Jason Day doesn’t win and Rory McIlroy finishes outside the top 10, Spieth moves back into the top spot. He also was a two-time America East Player of the Year and led the Great Danes to their first two NCAA Tournament appearances. “I just need to adjust to that”.
McIlroy balanced out two bogeys with two birdies on the front nine before finishing the round with birdies at 16 and 18, but admitted he was taken aback by the greens.
“I felt like I hit the ball very well”, said McIlroy. This time, he still has two more rounds before the Labor Day finish.
It was the fourth straight round over par for Spieth.