Jordan Spieth pulling away as he builds big lead at Pebble Beach Pro-Am
Spieth is cruising towards victory No. 9 on the PGA Tour
Jordan Spieth continued his torrid run at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am on Saturday with a 65 at the Pebble Beach course. This followed rounds of 68 at Spyglass Hill and 65 at Monterey Peninsula over the first two days. He is now at 17 under and six shots clear of Brandt Snedeker, who is in second place.
Spieth's putter caught fire, and he needed just 23 putts over 18 holes to get through his round, including one putt on 13 different holes. He has brought a normally-tough three-course rotation at this tournament to its knees. Again, just 23 putts!
"I couldn't have asked for a better putting day," said Spieth. "With greens that are poa annua and have a lot of traffic because they have been so soft with this weather, it's very difficult even to make a putt from 4 feet, the percentages, it's another 10, 15 percent probably less than average. So I'm certainly grateful of that ..."
Jordan Spieth has missed 2 putts inside 20 feet today. 15/17.— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGC) February 12, 2017
Spieth, who made eight birdies and a bogey on Saturday, is looking for win No. 9 in his career, and this one seems to be on cruise control. With the way he's hitting it right now (he's No. 1 on the PGA Tour in strokes gained on approach shots) and the way he always putts, it might be a wrap.
"It would be great," said Spieth of taking this tournament where he's never won. "Winning before Augusta is always a goal. Getting into a position to win and then being able to close it is a big confidence boost. In the last two years we have won going into Augusta, and I feel like it helped me there. So that would be nice. Obviously, it being here, first and foremost, would be really special. To be able to say that you won at Pebble Beach on these three magnificent golf courses would be special."
Spieth will win on Sunday, of course. He just does not blow tournaments like this. Yes, I remember the Masters. That was different, though. There were six players within three of the lead after 54 holes at Augusta when Spieth coughed it up in the final round. This time around, there is only one with in six.
Dustin Johnson and Kelly Kraft are seven back at 10 under (just behind Snedeker), but it gets dark after that. Spieth is clearly the favorite here (-1,000 in Vegas) and should run away and hide on Sunday.
This seems like a good time to mention that only six times in PGA Tour history has a six-shot lead been blown on the final day of an event. Of course, Snedeker has three of those wins.
"Sneds has won here, I think, twice, and I think we're playing with him," said Spieth. "He's going to be somebody who can very easily, I mean, I say very easily, but he's somebody who can go out there and shoot 7-[under], 8-under tomorrow. So, I've got to set a goal and stay real patient, try not to make many mistakes, hit a lot of greens in regulation."
Spieth has been trending like this for a while. After winning in Australia in December, Spieth finished T6 at the Hero World Challenge, T3 at the Tournament of Champions, third at the Sony Open and T9 at the Phoenix Open. So this is not necessarily a surprise even if he has not won since last May at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.
Jordan Spieth's last seven 54-hole leads/co-leads on PGA Tour:— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGC) February 12, 2017
T2 ('16 Masters)
On Sunday, Spieth has a chance to join some special company. In the modern era, only Tiger Woods has won nine or more times on the PGA Tour at the age of 23 or younger. Spieth can sidle up next to Big Cat on a week when one of the greatest ever announced he can't play for the next few weeks. No worries, though, there's another American more than ready to take the torch. All that awaits on Sunday is the trophy presentation.
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