Jordan Spieth has put together “the worst driving” we’ve seen from a 54-hole leader of a Masters in recent memory.
His stumbles coming home Friday and Saturday were “unfathomable.”
Those were some of the strong opinions from the “Live From the Masters” crew during Saturday evening’s show after the third round.
Despite a bogey at the 17th and a double bogey at the 18th, Spieth left Augusta National with a one-shot lead going into Sunday.
“He leaves us scratching our heads, though, exactly how he did it,” Brandel Chamblee said. “Fifty-seven players made the cut. He’s 51st in driving distance, 25th in fairways hit, 25th in greens in regulation. There has to be something else there, and there is, of course.”
Chamblee said it isn’t only Spieth’s putting that is allowing him to make up for mistakes. It’s “crisp” iron play and “exemplary” wedge play.
“He made a lot of mistakes,” Chamblee said. “You are talking about a guy who broke his driver on the eve of this championship and is probably, as we speak, putting together the worst driving that has led this event in statistical memory.”
Arron Oberholser was surprised that Spieth stumbled coming home with the lead two days in a row. Spieth bogeyed two of the last three holes on Friday. He led by four shots on Saturday after making par at the 16th hole. His bogey at the 17th and double at the 18th brought a lot of players back into the mix.
“I have never seen a guy look so in control look so out of control that late in the day,” Oberholser said. “We were giving it to him at the 16th ... The way he has played the last [three holes] the last two days is unfathomable to me, that a Masters champion would do that.”
David Duval and Frank Nobilo said the bottom line is that Spieth maintained his lead.
“His golf game was OK today,” Duval said. “It wasn’t great, it wasn’t awful.
“He went out and did exactly what he needed to do. We’ve been talking about how trying and difficult the conditions have been and were going to be today, and he did exactly what he needed to do . ... Regardless of all the little problems, he is still maintaining the lead, and he has shown he knows how to close it out.”
Nobilo said Spieth would probably have taken a 73 at day’s start but it was the finish that left him feeling unsatisfied with the score.
“He is still 22 years old, still trying to learn how to play golf at the highest level,” Nobilo said. “He is going to be in a familiar position Sunday. We have all talked about how he has let a lot of players in, but this will be the third straight Sunday at the Masters that he will be in the final group. That’s a lot of experience for someone that young, and he’s going to be the most comfortable in that position.”