Here comes that man again. Jordan Spieth is one more epic Sunday from claiming what no player in the history of the game has achieved, a clean sweep of American majors in the same year.
After a third round 65 the Masters and US Open champion goes out in the final pairing at the PGA Championship today two shots adrift of leader Jason Day, who is seeking his maiden major after a 66.
Just when his rivals thought the zeitgeist had deserted him the game’s greatest finisher stormed the leaderboard with six birdies in a stirring back nine. It was astonishing stuff. With ten holes played Spieth was just one under for his round and fading from view when all and sundry were looting Whistling Straits on the lowest average scoring day in PGA history.
It all changed with a birdie at 11 that triggered a hat-trick of strikes against par, followed by a second treble to close out the day. “Michael (caddie) did a great job keeping me in it,” Spieth said. “I was impatient on the front nine. I felt like I was playing some solid golf. I just wasn't scoring. And so once the one on 11 went, even though it was a simple up and down, I at least saw another birdie go.
“The one on 12 was nice. And we're off to the races. The holes started to look bigger. A lot of times it just takes one to go for me to really find that extra confidence, that extra little pop in my stroke. It was nice to get in the zone and very, very pleased to have a chance to win another major.”
Day was scarcely less impressive. Nine top 10s in the 20 majors contested since making his debut at St Andrews in 2010, including six top-fives and three seconds, demonstrate a pedigree that he imposed yesterday with six consecutive threes from the ninth.
A double at the 15th might have broken him, but he responded with a birdie at 17 to establish a two shot cushion with which to start championship Sunday. “To come back with birdie on 17, a lot of emotion came out of me, just to really get back at it and I'm really excited.
“To me I'm looking at it as it's going to be a really fun day. I can only get better from this and it should be an exciting challenge playing against Jordan. I've been here before, so I kind of know what to expect. I haven't won before, so that's something that is possibly a new experience for me tomorrow.
“I'm just enjoying being out on the golf course, rather than in previous positions that I've had in major championships. I've viewed them as very stressful and kind of hard to go out and play the next day.
“But it's been fun to be out here in pressure situations. It's good to be in contention, especially on Sunday. It's good to have the lead. I've done what I had to do. I have just got to focus on round four and keep pushing forward.”
A bogey at the last dropped Justin Rose to a share of third with Branden Grace on 12 under par, but, as he said, a 68 is never disappointing in a major. Obviously anything in the 60s on moving day is not going to do you any harm. All in all, a good day and in a good position for tomorrow.”Reuse content