(Reuters) - Jordan Spieth blamed mental mistakes for his poor second round at the Travelers Championship on Friday as a former British Open champion said the current holder of the Claret Jug needs a break before defending the title.
Playing his sixth tournament in seven weeks, Spieth ran up a triple bogey en-route to a three-over-par 73 at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut.
Even a tap-in eagle later in his round did not assuage the defending champion, who fell six strokes behind halfway pacesetter Brian Harman after starting the day tied for the lead.
“Unfortunately didn’t stick with the game plan and it cost me two or three strokes today, just stuff I could control before I hit it,” the Texan told reporters.
“That’s the most frustrating part of today, not hitting one out-of-bounds and whatever other bogeys I made, because those are execution errors.”
The out-of-bounds to which he referred was at the par-five 13th, where he ran up an ugly eight after compounding his wild tee shot by finding a pond with his fourth.
It is not the first time Spieth has been undone by the hole.
“I hit one out-of-bounds last year,” he said. “I hit one in the water last year. I don’t know what it is about the hole, but that hole, I get on the tee and for whatever reason I struggle.”
Spieth’s busy schedule has been caused by the close proximity of some premier tournaments and his two hometown PGA Tour events.
David Duval, the 2002 British Open champion, believes Spieth is overdue some time off to recharge.
“Listening to him talk about his golf right now, and how he’s feeling and what he’s doing on the golf course, he’s talking about mental mistakes,” Duval said on Golf Channel.
“He’s been trying to force the issue too much. I think he’s played a little bit too much. I think it’s time for a breather, a chance to regroup and get ready for the summer season.”
Spieth agrees. He is not playing next week and has not committed to any other tournaments before the July 19-22 British Open at Carnoustie.
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by John O'Brien