Spieth Talks Tough Round 3 at Soggy Oak Hill
Jordan Spieth played his best round of the week when the conditions were the worst. The three-time major champion, who started the week with questions about an injured left wrist, shot 1-over 71 Saturday at the PGA Championship, in a downpour for most of the four hours it took him to complete the third round at Oak Hill.
Spieth was off early Saturday at 8:30 a.m. local time with Lee Hodges in only the second pairing of the day. Like many Spieth rounds, this one was a rollercoaster, but it was two shots better than his first round and one shot better than his second.
The day started with his opening tee shot heading directly into a fenced area that enclosed portable toilets. He made bogey. But the biggest hiccup came on the par-3 11th when he hit his tee shot in the left greenside bunker. He left it in the bunker on his second shot, then blasted out to 13 feet and missed the putt for bogey and made double. In all, he made four birdies on the rain-soaked day.
Afterward, as usual, Spieth was extremely descriptive in what it was like to play in these conditions, which are expected to continue until around 4 p.m., when the leaders will be through about five or six holes.
“It's just really difficult to keep everything dry, and so it starts with a grip, and then from there, if you get water on the ball or the driver face, the ball can really go anywhere,” Spieth said. “You have to do a good job of – it's just a different kind of routine, right. I was holding my driver face down as I was getting ready to hit, and I would set up and hit it pretty quickly. That really helped.
“I drove the ball well. It seemed like it was coming off pretty normal where there was two drives I think I hit – where right when I hit them, I looked up and I was like, ‘oh, man, that's a water shooter.’ You just have to be so accurate off the tee here, and the rain makes it more difficult to be accurate.”
Spieth had to make an 8-footer for par late Friday on the 18th hole just to make the cut on the number. He hit his approach into the greenside bunker and blasted out to 8 feet and made it. He now stands at 6-over total, is well out of contention, but will undoubtedly move up the leaderboard while sitting inside this afternoon.