CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It isn’t officially over, but it’s over. Jordan Spieth will not become the youngest player ever to complete the rare career Grand Slam.
Spieth shot an even 71 in his third round Saturday at the PGA Championship, the final leg he needs to complete the Slam, and stands at 3-over for the tournament. He is 10 shots out of the lead held by Kevin Kisner.
Asked what “disappointed’’ him most about the week, Spieth said, “To not have a chance to win.’’
“Obviously, any week you don’t have a chance to win, you’ve fallen short of where you would like to be,’’ he said. “Disappointing would have been going home after two days.’’
Spieth insisted he “saw some highlights’’ Saturday, particularly in his putting.
As for not having a sniff at completing the Grand Slam?
“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,’’ he said. “That wasn’t the goal. The goal was to try and win them all. The goal was to try and get on the PGA Tour and then, from there, see what happens. I have a lot of opportunities.
“The PGA Championship I think is going to be the toughest for me. If we look 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.’’
Jason Day’s third round — and tournament — came completely undone on the 18th hole, where he took a quadruple bogey and doomed his chances of winning a second career PGA.
The trouble began when Day hit his tee shot well right, stymied behind a tree. He then inexplicably tried to advance it by hitting down the cart path. The ball caromed off another tree and left him a difficult pitch back to the fairway. The final insult was a lipped-out putt for triple bogey.
Day was 2-over for the day and 4-under for the tournament when he stood on the 18th tee and walked off the green even-par and seven shots out of the lead. He went from fourth place to a tie for 16th in the span of one hole.
Day, always one of the most accommodating players in the game with his time, seemed to be in shock after his round and declined to do any interviews. So no one knows what he was thinking with that second shot.
Justin Thomas, who was in contention at the U.S. Open and faltered in the final round, is the only player with two rounds in the 60s over the last two rounds (66-69), and he said he felt like he struggled with his game.
“I like to think that I’m mature now and I can manage an under-par round when I don’t have my best stuff,’’ Thomas said. “I think that’s why I feel like I’m ready to win a major championship now versus last year, when I probably didn’t have that.”That’s what Tiger [Woods] did so well. He won tournaments by five or six with his B-game or C-game. What I did [Saturday] was definitely a confidence boost.’
Moments after nearly carding a hole-in-one on the par-3 13th, Canadian Graham DeLaet nearly had a hole-in-one on the par-4 14th hole. He drove the green and left himself a tap-in for eagle. DeLaet went 6-under on Nos. 13 though 16, going birdie, eagle, eagle, birdie. He finished with a 68 and is 2-under for the week.
“That would be a cool run at any PGA Tour event, but to do that at the PGA Championship is pretty special,’’ DeLaet said. “It’s something I’ll probably always remember when I look back at my career. The nice thing about it was it put me in a position where something really special [Sunday] can … you never know.’’
Only one player in PGA Tour history has a hole-in-one on a par-4. Andrew Magee did it at a Phoenix Open in 2001.
Jon Rahm got to as low as 5-under par in his third round and was on the cusp of contention at 2-under for the tournament before giving it all back. Three 6s on his final four holes left him with a disappointing 71, 3-over for the tournament.
Steve Stricker, the current Presidents Cup captain, made the PGA cut, which gives him an impressive 26 consecutive made cuts in majors. He shot 72 Saturday and is 4-over for the week. … Remember Thorbjorn Olesen? He shared the lead with Kisner after an opening-round 67, struggled in the second round, recording a 78. After 36 holes, Olesen was tied for 43rd place. Olesen rallied with an even-par 71 Saturday and is 3-over. … In the past 40 majors, 38 winners were within at least four shots of the led through 54 holes. … In 14 of the past 16 majors, the winner was in either first or second place through 54 holes.