Spieth: ‘PGA Championship is going to be toughest for me’

Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports

Spieth: ‘PGA Championship is going to be toughest for me’

Professional

Spieth: ‘PGA Championship is going to be toughest for me’

CHARLOTTE – As unrealistic as it seemed, starting his weekend 11 shots off the lead, Jordan Speith pretty much needed two perfect rounds at the 99th PGA Championship to make any sort of noise in his pursuit of the career Grand Slam.

And as Spieth has found out through a challenging week in North Carolina, perfect rounds at Quail Hollow are difficult and rare.

Spieth did get his putting figured out – finally – over his final 11 holes on Saturday. He even made five birdies in one nine-hole stretch one day after making only a single birdie in a second-round 73.

But a double-bogey at the last, where Speith tugged a 5-iron left into water from a right-side fairway bunker and made double bogey, left the Texan with a round of even-par 71.

It was his best showing of the week, but clearly not good enough.

“Obviously any week you don’t have a chance to win, you’ve fallen short of where you would like to be,” said Spieth, whose victory at last month’s British Open at Royal Birkdale gave him three legs of a career Grand Slam. “Disappointing would have been going home after two days. I saw some highlights today.

“Like Michael (Greller, his caddie) was saying, we could break the season into quarters. This is the start of the fourth quarter.”

Spieth, who was trying to not only become the sixth player to capture a career slam, but, at 24, the youngest, maintained his weeklong message that he wasn’t going to apply any added pressure to his PGA week.

“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 ever,” Spieth said. “That wasn’t the goal. The goal was to try and win them all. The goal was to try to get on the PGA Tour and then from there see what happens.

“And yeah, I have a lot of opportunities.”

Surprisingly, Spieth said Saturday that the one missing leg in his career pursuit of winning each major championship may present him the sternest playing challenge.

“The PGA Championship I think is going to be the toughest for me,” he said. “If we 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. I feel like my game truly suits the other three majors maybe more than a PGA Championship.

“But I believe we can play anywhere and can win anywhere. It’s just a matter of having everything in sync at the right time.”

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