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Spieth encouraged despite poor result at Shriners Open

Jordan Spieth, even after finishing the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at 7-under 277 and tied for 55th, could find positives after a lengthy layoff.

“Overall, (I feel) improvement and moving in the right direction especially around the short game,” Spieth said. “It was kind of a trial run of the stuff I have been working on for only about a week and a half. It was solid and I will go into next week confident. I played a lot better than I scored and that happens sometimes.”

Spieth also enjoyed his first professional experience in Las Vegas.

“I thought the hospitality and really the way the kids from the Shriners Hospitals were incorporated into the week was fantastic. I thought it was incredible,” Spieth said. “To have standard-bearers from the hospital and the way they were incorporated on the range, throughout the pro-am and practice rounds, really made it a special week.”

Spieth tried to not let an idiot fan ruin his final-round of 1-over 72.

“I made a double(-bogey) on the back (13th hole); a guy yelled ‘mashed potatoes’ right at impact and I snapped it and it hit a rock and went out of bounds,” Spieth said. “It was just that kind of stuff that happened this week on the break side of things that held me back. Although my result wasn’t fantastic, it was progressively better through the bag.”

Piercy ‘wins’ Vegas

By making birdie on the 18th hole to finish at 14-under 270 and tied for 10th, Las Vegas’ Scott Piercy earned distinction as the top finisher amongst the local contingent.

More importantly for Piercy was finding good feelings with the putter, which he said after Saturday’s round had been absent for about two years.

“I finally made a couple putts even though I started off missing a 5-footer on (No.) 1 again,” Piercy said after the final round. “I just tried to stay patient and probably did leave a few more out there. The putter let me down early in the week, and it was just too much to make up.

“I started rolling the ball on line and in the first few rounds it was a little bit off this week. Actually, my putter broke on Tuesday so I am putting with a brand new putter this week so I was trying to get the nuances, feels and looks of it.”

Wise’s birdie barrage

Las Vegas resident Aaron Wise, fresh off being named the 2018 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, finished a shot behind Piercy at 12-under 271 and tied for 15th but was pleased with his play after being off for five weeks. Wise tallied a field-best 27 birdies for the week.

“It’s cool to have a home event and be able to sleep in your own bed,” Wise said. “I felt like I had a good week with a lot of ups. I just had a few too many poor short-game shots and this course tests you around there. I have some things to tidy up.”

Brian Hurlburt is a two-time author who has covered golf in Las Vegas for more than two decades. He can be reached at bhurlburt5@gmail.com or @LVGolfInsider.

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