Spieth stumbles in first round after 'brain fart'

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland, July 19 (Reuters) - They say the key to a good score around Carnoustie is to make your birdies on the first 14 holes then hang on.

Defending champion Jordan Spieth managed the first part on Thursday but failed miserably with the second, leaking four shots in his final four holes to slide back into the pack with a disappointing one-over 72.

Two birdies in his opening four holes offered early promise for the American but even with fickle Scottish weather in relatively benevolent mood he discovered the sprawling old course still packs a punch.

The 24-year-old double-bogeyed the par-four 15th after suffering what he described as a "brain fart," bogeyed the brutal par-three 16th and then leaked another shot on the last after driving his tee shot into Barry Burn.

"Felt like a missed opportunity," three-time major champion Spieth, who has had an up and down year by his standards, told reporters.

"I felt like I was really going well. I was putting the ball where I needed to. It was a clean round of golf, just the decision-making that's cost me.

"But the misses towards the end were the exact misses that I've been having and I'm working away from. My swing just didn't quite hold up to the end of my round."

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CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 19: Tiger Woods of the United States walks down the 17th hole during the first round of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 19, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
US golfer Dustin Johnson lines up a putt on the 17th green on day one of The 147th Open golf Championship at Carnoustie, Scotland on July 19, 2018. (Photo by Andy BUCHANAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP/Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 19: Hideki Matsuyama of Japan plays his shot from the 13th tee during the first round of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 19, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 19: Tom Lehman of the United States chips in from the side of the 17th green during round one of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 19, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)
Sweden's Henrik Stenson reacts to his iron shot on the 17th tee during his first round on day one of The 147th Open golf Championship at Carnoustie, Scotland on July 19, 2018. (Photo by Andy BUCHANAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP/Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 19: Tiger Woods of the United States plays his shot from the 13th tee during the first round of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 19, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
ANGUS, SCOTLAND - JULY 19: Fans watch Russell Knox of Scotland hitting a tee shot on the fourth hole during the first round of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 19, 2018 in Angus, Scotland. (Photo by Stan Badz/R&A/R&A/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 19: Tiger Woods of the United States plays his second shot on 15th during round one of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 19, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 19: Jordan Spieth of the United States plays his second shot on the 15th hole during the first round of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 19, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
US golfer Kevin Kisner (L) and US golfer Zach Johnson mark their balls on the 17th green during their third rounds on day 3 of The 147th Open golf Championship at Carnoustie, Scotland on July 21, 2018. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 21: Jordan Spieth of the United States plays his second shot on the 18th hole during the third round of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 21, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 22: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts to his eagle putt on the 14th hole green during the final round of the Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 22, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 20: Tiger Woods of the United States plays his second shot on the 2nd hole during round two of the Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 20, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 22: Tiger Woods of the United States plays his shot from the third tee during the final round of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 22, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 18: Tiger Woods of the United States tosses his ball in the air on the driving range during previews to the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 18, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Warren Little/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 19: Tiger Woods of the United States hits a bunker shot on the 14th hole during the first round of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 19, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 19: Hideki Matsuyama of Japan drops his club after a shot on the sixth hole during the first round of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 19, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 19: Tiger Woods of the United States plays a shot on the tenth hole during the first round of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 19, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 19: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays out a bunker on the 1st fairway during round one of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 19, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 17: Dustin Johnson of the United States tees off during previews to the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 17, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
GULLANE, SCOTLAND - JULY 14: Jens Dantorp of Sweden takes his tee shot on hole eighteen during day three of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open at Gullane Golf Course on July 14, 2018 in Gullane, Scotland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
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It all began to go wrong on the 15th where he played conservatively off the tee and then hit his second shot into the face of a deep bunker, giving him an impossible shot.

He could only play out sideways and ended up with a six.

"I just had a brain fart, and I missed it into the location where there was the only pot bunker where I could actually get in trouble, and it plugged deep into it," he said.

"It was a really, really poor decision on the second shot, and that cost me."

Spieth and playing partner Justin Rose found themselves six strokes behind fellow American Kevin Kisner who was leading into the early evening, but the champion still felt it was a recoverable position.

"I imagine this is as easy as the course could play. So I don't see the winning score being any better than it was in 2007 (seven-under) with tomorrow's forecasted tough conditions and Sunday's forecasted heavy winds," he said.

"I think wherever it is Saturday night, it comes back on Sunday too. So it's not a bad place to be. A solid round tomorrow to stay in the top 20, 25 will be the goal, to feel I can do something at the weekend."

Asked what score could win the title on Sunday, Spieth said it was impossible to predict.

"Five-under could win it, five-over could win it. 15-under could win it," he said. (Reporting by Martyn Herman Editing by Ian Chadband)

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