They say you can't win a major in the first round, but you can certainly lose one.
Jordan Spieth didn't run out to a hot start at Oakmont like he did at Chambers Bay last year, but his 2-over 72 in the first round at Oakmont keeps him near the leaders from the early wave of golfers. Spieth didn't take advantage of the soft conditions the same way Andrew Landry (-4) or Lee Westwood (-3) did, but he avoided a disastrous start like Rory McIlroy (+7) and Rickie Fowler (+6), who may have effectively ended their chances at a win before half the field teed off.
Spieth was 1 over thru 11 when play was stopped for the day on Thursday, so he came back on Friday morning to play his final seven holes of the first round. He made one birdie and two bogeys coming in on Friday, and while he didn't play his best golf, he remains in contention.
He will now have nearly 24 hours to think about it, too, with USGA announcing those with the latest Round 2 tee times on Friday will not take the course until Saturday.
With the rain out of the forecast for the rest of the week, Oakmont is expected to firm back up and scores to rise as it does. Spieth missed an opportunity to post a red number, but at the same time he is one of the players that you expect to handle more difficult conditions better than the rest of the field.
Spieth's putter could be the ultimate equalizer as the week wears on. As greens firm up, approach shots will need to be more cautious and players will be left with longer putts for birdies and pars. No one on the PGA Tour is a better distance putter than Spieth, so it stands to reason that as the course becomes more difficult -- if he can strike the ball well -- that Spieth will be able to pick strokes up on the field thanks to that putter.
It's just another reason why Spieth remains so dangerous this week.