The American world number two produced dismal form from tee to green, especially on his front nine where he hit just one green in regulation, but he «did a great job mentally» as he made par putt after par putt to work his way into contention.

Spieth’s fortunes improved markedly after the turn and he reached six of nine greens in regulation before capping a round to remember with birdies on his last four holes at Firestone Country Club in Akron.

«I really won the battle in my head today,» a smiling Spieth told Golf Channel after totalling just 21 putts and chipping in to save par at the eighth.

«I could have shot four or five over pretty easily with the way that I was striking the ball tee to green.

«We (he and his caddie, Michael Greller) have really tried to approach this tournament as the turnaround for the second half of the season, and I think it was a really good start.»

Renowned for his brilliant putting, Spieth took great encouragement from the way he had been able to eke out a sub par total on a challenging layout while not at his best.

«If we can grind those kinds of rounds out and shoot under par on tough courses, we are in good shape,» said the 22 year old Texan, already a double major champion.

«Just holding in there when I felt like it was all going wrong, to be actually in contention and not have thrown myself out of it, this bodes well. Hopefully we can improve on today.»

What also helped was that Spieth stopped talking to his caddie after every single poor shot, a bad habit he had developed earlier this season.

«I’ve been getting overly frustrated .cheapgoose I’m the one hitting the shots but I keep on talking about why I didn’t hit it where I wanted to hit it and I’ve just been keeping that to myself now, at least I did today,» he said.

«And today was a great day to test it. Really I think we did a great job mentally, my best mental round I’ve had in a long time.»

I will not curb Kohli’s aggression

BENGALURU India’s new head coach Anil Kumble admires test captain Virat Kohli’s aggression and will not try to curb his natural instincts.

The 27 year old Kohli replaced Mahendra Singh Dhoni as India’s captain in the longest game’s format after the wicketkeeper batsman’s retirement from test cricket during the tour of Australia in late 2014.

The Delhi cricketer was initially perceived as another brash personality from the streets of a city long accused of encouraging aggression in its youth, having often been involved in wars of words with opponents on the field.

Former India captain Kumble’s appointment as coach was welcomed by many who expect the former leg spinner to be a calming presence in a team led by an expressive captain.

«I love his aggression,» Kumble told reporters sitting alongside Kohli. «I was no different, I was also aggressive, very different in terms of the way we probably came across on the field.

«But you don’t want to curb aggression. I will be the last person to curb someone’s natural instincts,» Kumble added.

«But we all know how important it is to be ambassadors of India and to be a part of the Indian cricket team. That everybody understands. We will ensure that there is a thin line and everybody knows that.»

India will play four tests against West Indies and after returning from the Caribbean the world’s second ranked side are set for a busy season at home when they will play 13 test matches, eight ODIs and three T20 internationals.

«It will be one test match at a time. It’s a long season, we have the opportunity to plan well,» Kohli told reporters ahead of the team’s departure for the West Indies.

«It will be an opportunity for the team to gel together and execute our plans,» he added.

«It will be the perfect situation and opportunity to challenge and assess ourselves as a test team. I feel these few months will determine how India play test cricket in the next few years.»

Kumble, India’s most successful bowler, capturing 619 wickets in 132 tests and 337 in 271 one day internationals, has just overseen a six day training camp in Bengaluru.

«Our intention will always be to go for wins,» Kohli said. «There have been situations in the past where we have lost while trying to go for wins.

«But we lost due to our mistakes. We have realised we reached that position playing 80 percent good cricket. Now we are focusing on rectifying the remaining 20 percent and continue to play positively.»

British Olympic long distance running champion Mo Farah says he only wants to run against ‘clean athletes’ in response to the ban on Russia for doping. Rough Cut Subtitled (no reporter narration).

«As I said, as an athlete, I just have to concentrate on my sport and all I want to do is be able to run against clean athletes, fair athletes. And if we apply the same rules in the UK as other countries are applying then that’s all we can do,» he said.

The London 2012 double gold medallist also added:

«Yeah, as I said, you don’t want to see anything bad or negative in our sport. Like myself, Usain (Bolt) and the rest of us, we work so hard and then when something happens it takes away from the limelight. So, nobody wants to see it. You got to do what’s right and we just have to leave it to the governing body and the people who’s job is to make it a fair sport.»

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decided on Thursday (July 21) to reject Russia’s appeal against its ban from Rio Olympics athletics.

The ruling by the CAS, sport’s highest tribunal, will be taken into consideration by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as it ponders whether to impose a blanket ban on Russia from all sports.

The affair has triggered a crisis in world sport, with Russian President Vladimir Putin speaking of the risk of a split in the Olympic movement.

Russian track and field athletes were banned from international competition in November after an independent commission set up by the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) found rampant state sponsored doping in Russian athletics.

The ban was imposed by the IAAF, the global governing body for athletics, which reconfirmed it last month, saying there were still considerable problems with anti doping in Russia as highlighted in an independent report.