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Spieth on charge to make history as Day collapses

By Phil Casey

Published 20/06/2015

Jordan Spieth of the United States celebrates with his caddie Michael Greller after a birdie putt on the ninth green during the second round of the US Open
Jordan Spieth of the United States celebrates with his caddie Michael Greller after a birdie putt on the ninth green during the second round of the US Open

Masters champion Jordan Spieth kept his bid to make history firmly on track on a dramatic afternoon at the US Open as his playing partner Jason Day collapsed on the Chambers Bay course.

Spieth is looking to become just the sixth man in history after Craig Wood, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods to win the Masters and US Open in the same year.

The world number two can also became the first player since Gene Sarazen in 1922 to win multiple majors aged 21 or younger at Chambers Bay and if his outstanding performance in the second round yesterday was anything to go by he has every chance.

Then there is the prospect of winning all four majors in one year. Too much? Probably even for a talent like Spieth who hit three under 67 to move to five under after his opening two rounds.

As he left the course for the day, he was tied at the top of the leaderboard with fellow American Dustin Johnson and Swede Henrik Stenson who were among the late starters.

Starting on the back nine, Spieth birdied the 10th, 14th, 15th and 17th - he also three-putted the driveable 12th for par after missing from two feet - to reach six under par, one shot ahead of Stenson and Johnson.

However, the Ryder Cup star then hit the lip of a bunker with his second shot on the 18th, found more sand with his third shot and eventually carded a double-bogey six on the long par four, which had played as a par-five on Thursday.

Spieth was heard on television berating himself for the "dumbest hole I've ever played in my life" after his second shot, but bounced back immediately with a birdie on the first, which was playing as a 593-yard par five.

There was another bogey on his 16th hole, but showing his class he hit back on his final hole by landing a birdie with an impressive putt at the par three ninth.

He could be hard to stop over the weekend.

Spieth said: "Two under each day is a goal that I want to do. My putter was on today, my driver wasn't but when your putter is on you can salvage a round. This is golf's toughest mental test. It's about testing patience. If my putter continues to stay hot we'll be in good shape."

If Spieth's 67, following his first round 68, was entertaining to watch, what happened to Australian Day was painful.

He collapsed to the ground during the second round, apparently suffering from an attack of vertigo.

Day was walking from the elevated tee on the par-three ninth - his final hole - at Chambers Bay when he suddenly fell to the floor. The world number 10 was quickly attended to by paramedics and was heard on television saying that the incident was related to "vertigo I've had for a while".

After several minutes the 27-year-old was able to get unsteadily to his feet and complete the hole, although he was unable to get up and down from a greenside bunker and had to settle for a round of 70 to finish two under par.

Day withdrew before the start of the Byron Nelson Championship three weeks ago due to severe dizziness and revealed on Tuesday he had undergone numerous tests to try to identify the cause.

"I had three sleep studies done. I had a lot of blood tests done. I had an MRI on my head and my neck and everything came back negative," Day said.

"So I have no idea what that was, other than I just may have been exhausted. I was training so hard, I was doing two-a-days every day coming into tournaments and then on top of it I was doing practice, playing competitive golf and then trying to balance that with family as well.

"It's just a full-time kind of gig there and I think I just ran out of gas and I wasn't feeling good, so I had the shakes and the tingling up my arms. And the loss of energy and strength was probably caused by that. I've got severe sleep deprivation, so I guess that's part and parcel of having a kid."

Spieth, who was playing with Day, said: "I was walking with him, just turned around and he was on the ground. I think he had a dizzy moment and slipped. He could barely even walk when he stood up.

"He did not say much about it, we just went about our business and cleared the scene and the cameras to make sure he could get what he needed."

Day did exceptionally well to finish his round and given that he is on two under par he may be in the mix at the weekend.

South African Branden Grace will also fancy his chances. He had a fine 67 and is four under par entering the third round.

A group of the early starters finished the second day on three under par for the tournament - Joost Luiten, Tony Zinau, Daniel Summerhays and Ben Martin.

Belfast Telegraph

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