PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Jordan Spieth’s frustrating week didn’t get much better Saturday at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
Spieth’s likeness was handed out in bobblehead form to the first 8,000 fans in attendance at the host course, but the world No. 1 failed to give the galleries assembled much reason to cheer. Spieth carded only a single birdie en route to a 2-over 74, his highest score of the week, and had to get up-and-down from in front of the 18th green to simply make the 54-hole cut.
“I just had a bad attitude that first nine,” Spieth said. “I just, I have come to this golf course thinking that it’s just kind of pitch-and-putt because that’s the way it’s kind of played the last three or four rounds I played on it. Then with the conditions today, you just have to be patient.”
Spieth continued to cite his par-5 scoring as a big reason why his name is well down the standings through 54 holes. He played the longest holes at Pebble Beach in 1 over during the third round and sits at even par for the week on par-5s.
“To be even par, I mean I should be really, I would say average for me there would be 7- or 8-under,” he said. "That’s losing eight shots on the par-5s, that’s a bit sloppy. If I’m just average on the par-5s, though, I’m somewhat in this tournament or at least playing solid.”
Instead, Spieth enters the final round at 1-under 214, 15 shots behind tournament leader Phil Mickelson. He admitted that some of his frustrations in recent weeks stem from the high bar he set at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, where he barely seemed to break a sweat en route to an eight-shot win.
“I think the last three tournaments, I’ve almost played under the impression that it’s going to be as easy as Hawaii,” he said. “All three I’ve kind of approached it as if I should shoot 6, 7 or 8 under each round like we did in Hawaii, why not? It‘s that easy. But it just isn’t.”
With the trophy now out of reach, Spieth will look to use his final round as a chance to simply build some momentum before heading to next week’s Northern Trust Open to continue his torrid early-season stretch.
“Tomorrow I’m just going to try and have fun, enjoy Pebble,” he said. “It will be the first stress-free round that I’ve really had in quite a while, where I played a Sunday not having a chance to win. It’s not good, but at the same time I think I can get in a groove and not lose any hair over the back nine and just, I’m going to fire at some pins.”