Spi­eth plan­ning to “fire at stuff” with “noth­ing to lose”

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Joedy McCreary

CHARLOTTE, N.C.» Jor­dan Spi­eth all but con­ceded that his pur­suit of the ca­reer Grand Slam will have to wait un­til next year.

So he is ap­proach­ing the fi­nal two rounds of the 99th PGA Cham­pi­onship like he has noth­ing to lose.

Spi­eth shot a 2-over-par 73 on Fri­day and moved to 3-over for the tour­na­ment but slipped 11 strokes be­hind the colead­ers when the sec­ond round was sus­pended be­cause of dark­ness with two dozen play­ers still on the course.

“I kind of ac­cept the fact that I’m es­sen­tially out of this tour­na­ment, pend­ing some form of crazy stuff the next cou­ple of days,” Spi­eth said. “But I’m sure go­ing to give it a try.”

Closer to the pro­jected cut line of 5over than to co-lead­ers Kevin Kis­ner and Hideki Mat­suyama, Spi­eth joked that it would take a round of “prob­a­bly 54” to get back in it be­fore adding that he just wants to score “as low as I can go.”

Three weeks af­ter a late surge helped him win the Bri­tish Open and claim the third leg of the ca­reer Grand Slam, the 24-year-old Texan was try­ing to be­come the youngest player to have won all four ma­jor cham­pi­onships.

Af­ter end­ing the first round five strokes off the lead, Spi­eth ac­knowl­edged that he needed to close the gap dur­ing Round 2 to give him­self a chance. In­stead, it more than dou­bled.

A day af­ter Spi­eth didn’t make a putt longer than 5 feet on the new, fast greens at Quail Hol­low, he made only two from 10 feet or longer — a 10-footer for par on No. 7 and a 12-footer on the 12th for his only birdie of Fri­day’s round.

“Things were in just such tough lo­ca­tions that it was hard to get the ball to feed to the hole,” Spi­eth said. “So it’s a tough track where they’re putting these flag­sticks. It makes it tough to score. Just re­ally didn’t get many looks to­day, so with one birdie, it’s go­ing to be hard to post a solid round.”

With the tricky greens softer and slower af­ter a 1-hour, 45-minute rain de­lay, Spi­eth missed birdie putts of 10 to 40 feet on three con­sec­u­tive holes, Nos. 15-17.

One of the main sub­plots this week­end at Quail Hol­low was sup­posed to be Spi­eth’s chase to be­come only the sixth player with a ca­reer Grand Slam.

Un­less he comes up with a colos­sal rally, Tiger Woods will re­main the youngest player to com­plete the ca­reer Grand Slam when he pol­ished off the 2000 Bri­tish Open.

“On to the week­end, to try to fire at stuff,” Spi­eth said. “Noth­ing to lose.”

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