Published November 20, 2014
After being one of three amateurs to make the cut at the U.S. Open, Jordan Spieth showed off his game in Saturday's third round.
Spieth, who got into the field when Brandt Snedeker withdrew due to injury, is the second-ranked amateur in the world behind Patrick Cantlay, who ended two rounds alongside Spieth at 8-over par.
In the third round, Spieth created a little distance between the two as he carded a 1-under 69 at The Olympic Club to finish 54 holes at 7-over-par 217. Cantlay shot 71 to end at plus-9.
"I was happy to get in my first round in the 60s in a major. So that's pretty cool," Spieth said. "Looking back, I felt like I played really well today. I hit most of the fairways and most of the greens and my putter felt good. I only missed one or two shots, so that's just what a U.S. Open does."
The University of Texas freshman left the course tied for 36th and trailing lead amateur Beau Hossler by four strokes. Hossler didn't start his round until after Spieth was finished.
Spieth is playing in his first major championship, but he has competed in five previous PGA Tour events and has made the cut three times.
In his first PGA Tour event, Spieth tied for 16th at the Byron Nelson after closing with a 2-over 72. So he has been in the heat of the battle before, but not on this stage.
"I don't know how to really compare it," stated Spieth when asked to compare the Nelson and this championship. "It's different, quite a bit different, because I kind of took myself out of it yesterday. But I got new goals. I'd like to maybe put something special together tomorrow and get a top 10 and get in next year, see what happens."
Spieth, who was named Big 12 Freshman of the Year and first team All American, started his third round by getting through the hardest part of the course, Nos. 1-6, with six consecutive pars.
The two-time U.S. Junior Amateur champion birdied the eighth for the second day in a row. Spieth moved to plus-6 with a birdie at the 12th. He gave that shot back with a bogey on the 14th.
Spieth parred the last four holes to end there.
As good as he is at stroke play, Spieth has excelled even more so in match play events. He has played in the last two Junior Ryder Cups and also competed at last year's Walker Cup.
Spieth has piled up an 8-0-1 record in those three tournaments. Along with making winning his two Junior Amateur titles through six rounds of match play each time, he also reached the quarterfinals at last year's U.S. Amateur and Western Amateur.
If you don't get enough of Spieth this weekend, you'll be seeing him a lot over the next few weeks. As of now, he is scheduled play three straight PGA Tour events starting at the AT&T National in two weeks.
Spieth will play in the first stage of PGA Tour Q School as an amateur as well. After that, it's back to Austin and the Texas golf team.