Spieth one behind Crane in Texas

Washington, May 21

Hometown favourite Jordan Spieth struggled with his iron play but drained two lengthy birdie putts to move within one stroke of leader Ben Crane after the second round at the weather-hit AT&T Byron Nelson in Texas on Friday.

The US Open champion kept errors to a minimum as he followed his opening 64 with a five-under 65 at the rain-softened TPC Four Seasons Resort in Irving.

He ended the round equal second with Spaniard Sergio Garcia (66) and Americans Brooks Koepka (64) and Bud Cauley (65), while Crane (63) set the halfway pace at 12-under 128.

Spieth, who missed the cut at last week’s Players Championship in his first PGA Tour start since his shocking collapse at last month’s Masters, was happy to make “limited mistakes” but acknowledged need for improvement. “Again, I just took advantage of the easier holes,” the 22-year-old told reporters.

Spieth, a seven-time winner on the PGA Tour who is known for his brilliant putting, said he felt much more in control of his game on the green than with an iron in his hand.

Crane flew into the lead with an eight-birdie sortie that included a 70-foot bunker shot that rolled deliciously into the middle of the cup at the third hole.

He has been missing in action since he won in Memphis two years ago, a slump he puts down to too much tinkering with his swing.