The remarkable Jordan Spieth enters another major weekend stalking history. The 21-year-old is attempting to emulate the Tiger Woods of 2002 vintage by winning the first two majors of the season and stir thoughts of a grand slam.
Spieth heads out in the final group of the US Open today with Ryder Cup buddy Patrick Reed. Spieth led the charge yesterday morning with a 67 to reach five under par, a round made all the more remarkable by his closing birdie at the ninth, slotted following a hiatus to allow playing partner Jason Day to recover after his dramatic collapse with vertigo.
With his victory at the Masters still box fresh Spieth said he would utilise that experience over the next two days. “I know that it's going to get tougher and tougher now that Saturday and Sunday hits. So I'll draw some on Augusta, but at the same time my patience level has to be even higher.
“I'm not quite putting myself in the same positions off the tee, so I've got to be a little more methodical. At Augusta I was kind of finding fairways, hitting it on the green and I was making everything. That would be nice here if I could do that, but it's a harder golf course than the Masters played this year.”
Reed responded in the afternoon with a wild 69 to set up America’s dream pairing. He had reached the lofty station of seven under par with an eagle at the par-4 12 but gave back his gains within three holes. Having edged clear again with a birdie at the 16 a three-putt at the last for bogey erased the advantage and left him more frustrated than thrilled.
“I actually felt it was a pretty disappointing round. To have five or six bogeys, didn't get up and down once. I hit the ball in the middle of the green on 18 and have no chance to putt a normal putt and stop near the hole. I have to play Mickey Mouse golf to try to make par. Unfortunately it is a bad way to end the day. But we're in a good position and hopefully have a chance to win.”
A bogey at the last for a 71 dropped overnight leader Dustin Johnson back to four under par. He had extended his lead to seven under par alongside Reed before tiring down the stretch and will have Branden Grace, who shot a 67, for company in the penultimate pairing.
Rory McIlroy flirted with contention with a birdie putt on the 16 that would have taken him within five of the lead had it dropped. It stayed up and after a disastrous finish, shipping three shots over the closing two holes for a second consecutive 72, he was fortunate to avoid a third missed cut on the spin, advancing on four over par.
A cluster of 15 players on five over par, including Ian Poulter, Colin Montgomerie and Sergio Garcia, had American amateur, Nick Hardy, to thank for sucking them into the weekend with a bogey at the last, which dropped the cut mark from four over to five.Reuse content