PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Jordan Spieth held out for as long as he could.
In the end, he failed to hold on until the end of his third round of AT & T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
Spieth had just two hits out of the lead on the 13th start on another tough day at Element in Pebble Beach and was about to end the drought of his victory at the 2017 Open Championship.
On 12 holes, he had managed to cope with a swing that caused him seizures. Then he moved away from the 13th par-4. The ball hit a tree, fell directly and left 277 yards green. He needed five more shots to complete a double bogey 6.
He returned with a birdie the next day and felt again in the race. But a bogey on the 17th, then a car in Carmel Bay and a fourth shot in a home tent led to a double bogey 7 on the closing hole and a new one at 40.
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Just like that – in fact, it took 100 minutes but seemed so sudden – Spieth's chances of winning another title in Crosby's Clambake were misplaced. Instead of being in on Sunday for the championship gear, he will start the final round with eight shots behind leader Paul Casey.
"I am very frustrated," said Spieth. Rounds of 66-68-74 place it at 7 years old. "If I'm just playing, I'm still in this tournament with what's planned for tomorrow, I'm a little out of the tournament, it's going to be a moment for me, it's going to be a new goal for the day."
Spieth said that he was so late that even when he had been under two on five holes, he told his youngest, Michael Greller, that he was not feeling as good as during the first two tournament days when he took up residence at the top of the rankings.
"You can recover for so long, but when difficult conditions come, it will show its teeth," said Spieth. "You are not going to surpass the golf course, you have to scratch it."
Instead, Spieth sprayed his blows.
"It stinks a bit because I've really had it in recent days and I just did not have the same pace today," said Spieth, whose last top 10 appeared in the 2018 Open Championship. "I have been driving the ball well for the past two days and today, my driver just did not behave at all." It was a distance of 150 yards on each side and it's not good around Pebble Beach, so try and come out tomorrow and hope the pace is back to normal (Friday). "