Jordan Spieth doesn't blame hit rake on his caddie

Getty									Jordan Spieth

Getty Jordan Spieth

But his ball found it.

Spieth's never-ending chatter on the course, clearly audible more often than not, raised eyebrows on Thursday when many television viewers were critical of the way he seemed to be blaming caddie Greller for a couple of miscues at the par-four eighth.

"The ball was above my feet in nearly a little downslope, and I was trying to hit a 6-iron 200 yards", Spieth said.

And Spieth, after his missed approach, was sure to let caddie Michael Greller hear his frustration. "So, in the first place, it was a really, really tough shot". But I had a clean lie and thought I could clear the lip. When I hit it, all I heard was the rake.

"If it didn't hit the rake, I don't know if it had enough to get anywhere near the green or if it would have been way short or way". I guess it slammed into the rake and came back and buried down into the tall grass.

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"Oh, it hit the rake", the always voluble Spieth said, clearly surprised, before adding: "Oh, there's a rake there". "You got me in the water on one and over the green on the other".

"It's just fighting it out and grinding it out", Woods said of staying in the mix ahead of Friday.

There is no specific USGA rule about the placement of rakes, but golf's governing body does recommend they be placed where they will least likely affect play. But when I was in it, I couldn't see it.

Spieth, the 2015 U.S. Open victor, had three birdies in his first four holes to join Woods at 2 under, but gave a shot back at 14 before righting things with birdies at 16 and 18 to make the turn at minus-3 for the day. It took just nine holes to burn them up.

Though the Dallas native managed to escape with a bogey on the 433-yard par 4, the score could have been far worse following a tee shot that went through the end of the fairway before trickling down the bluff onto the shores of the Pacific Ocean below. "It's easier for me to limit the mistakes than it is to try and force birdies. I'm rolling the ball really well on the greens".

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