Spi­eth out of con­tention af­ter even-par 71 leaves him 3-over

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Steve Reed

CHAR­LOTTE, N.C.» Jor­dan Spi­eth went for it. It just turned out not to be his week to make golf his­tory.

The 24-year-old Texan walked away from the third round of the 99th PGA Cham­pi­onship with his head held high, know­ing he will have many more chances to com­plete golf’s pres­ti­gious ca­reer Grand Slam.

It just won’t hap­pen Sun­day.

“I didn’t have it writ­ten in a di­ary from when I was young that I need to win a ca­reer Grand Slam as the youngest player ever — that wasn’t the goal,” Spi­eth said Sat­ur­day af­ter his even-par 71 left him at 3-over for the tour­na­ment and out of con­tention en­ter­ing the fi­nal round.

The goal, he said, was to get on the PGA Tour and “see what hap­pens from there.”

Spi­eth ac­knowl­edged that the PGA Cham­pi­onship is the tough­est ma­jor for him to win. It’s the ma­jor that doesn’t par­tic­u­larly play to his strengths — per­haps be­cause it typ­i­cally fa­vors longer hit­ters.

“If we look his­tor­i­cally back on my ca­reer, I think I will play this tour­na­ment worse than the (other) three ma­jors just in the way that it’s set up,” Spi­eth said. “I feel like my game truly suits the other three ma­jors more than the PGA Cham­pi­onship.”

That said, Spi­eth still be­lieves he can win this tour­na­ment some­day.

“It’s just a mat­ter of hav­ing ev­ery­thing in sync at the right time,” he said.

Spi­eth never got in sync at Quail Hol­low. He hasn’t shot a round in the 60s — and never got the put­ter go­ing un­til late in the third round Sat­ur­day, when he strung to­gether three birdies.

A lengthy up­hill birdie putt on No. 16 briefly got him to within sin­gle dig­its of then-leader Kevin Kis­ner and sent a buzz through the crowd. But af­ter sav­ing par on 17, Spi­eth put his drive on the 18th hole into the bunker on the right side of the fair­way. He was a lit­tle fat out of the sand and his ball failed to make the green, hit a hill and bounced back into a pretty creek that runs along the left side of the green.

The re­sult was a dou­ble bo­gey.

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