Jordan Spieth struggled with his putter Thursday. There’s no simpler way of saying it.
It may have been puzzling to some, sure, as one of Spieth’s best assets let him down during that 1-under 69, but anyone who knows golf and the statistics that define it understands the insignificance of an 18-hole sample. To little surprise, Spieth was out practicing his putting three hours prior to his Friday tee time. That’s when be became en fuego with the flat stick.
Seen this movie before? Now, 36 holes after his first round, Spieth is staring down his fourth win of the 2017 season.
The 24-year-old kicked off his Friday round making a 29-foot birdie putt on the second hole. He cruised through his front nine as Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler grabbed their shares of the lead. The Golden Child then proceeded to make 100 feet of putts on his back nine, including a 41-foot bomb on 16 to tie for the lead. His putting performance Thursday (99th best in the field) was followed by a 3rd-best tally Friday. And really, it was just the first act.
Playing alongside his buddy Fowler Saturday (who would struggle to a 4-over 74), Spieth made a 20-foot birdie putt on 5, a 22-foot birdie on 8, sprinkling in birdies on 3, 7 and 10 along the way. Making birdies is what he does, after all. His 4.47 birdie average is 3rd best on Tour this season.
"Once you play a golf course, you start to feel more comfortable," he said following his round. I’ll say.
As Johnson hung around the eight under mark for most of Saturday afternoon, Spieth did not drop a shot on the back nine, converting three straight birdies on holes 14-16, punctuated by this 22-footer on the 15th.
Jordan Spieth is unconscious: pic.twitter.com/7F0ALORqNv— GOLF.com (@golf_com) August 26, 2017
Spieth would tap in on 18 having gained more than six strokes on the field over Friday and Saturday with his Scott Cameron alone. He and his hot putter have a 3-stroke lead entering Sunday’s final round. Human muscle car and world no. 1 Dustin Johnson will be chasing him. Buckle up, everyone.