Spieth says PGA will be toughest major for him to win
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 Spieth walked away from the third round of the PGA Championship with his head held high, knowing he will have many, 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 after an 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 the PGA Championship is the toughest for him to win. It is the one 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 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 it someday.
“It's just a matter of having everything in sync at the right time,” Spieth 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 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 18th hole into the bunker on the right side of the fairway. His approach shot was a little fat out of the sand, and his ball failed to make the green, hit a hill and bounced back into a creek that runs along the left side of the green.
The result was a double bogey.
But Spieth said even had he closed strong he doesn't think he would have been back in contention.
“My goal was to try to work our way into a backdoor top-10 finish,” he said.
Instead, he walked off the green tied for 38th place.
Spieth joked Friday that he would have to shoot “probably 54” to get back in the hunt. But that never happened.
After conceding Friday that making up 11 strokes would be almost impossible, Spieth decided to go for broke and start shooting for pins in the third round.
“I was trying to play aggressive and see how many birdies I could make,” he said.
That isn't always the best approach to play a difficult course like Quail Hollow, especially where the rough is long. Spieth bogeyed three of the first seven holes. He played the next 10 holes in 5-under after his putter got hot, but the double bogey at 18 left him right where he started the round: at 3-over for the tournament.
Spieth said it was a disappointing he didn't at least put himself in position to win.
But he wouldn't describe the tournament as a disappointment, saying he did some good things.
“Disappointing would have been going home after two days,” Spieth said. “I think I saw some highlights today.”