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Spieth shoots 42-31 thanks to errant, then excellent driving

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Amateurs love it when they can relate to pros, like when a pro has a large disparity in his two nine-hole scores.

Saturday at the Valero Texas Open, Jordan Spieth looked like an amateur over his first nine. And then he looked like a three-time major champion on the second.

Spieth shot 6-over 42 on the front side in the third round at TPC San Antonio, complete with two double bogeys, two bogeys and no birdies. He came home in 5-under 31, with five birdies, including three straight to close his eventful round.


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For as much as is made about Spieth’s putter, it’s his driver that most dictated his score on Saturday. He didn’t hit a fairway until the 11th hole, but from there on didn’t miss one over the remainder of his round. The 10 holes he played after going astray off the tee: 6 over. The eight holes he played from the short grass: 5 under.

The putter, however, felt pretty good down the stretch for Spieth, too.

"Yeah, just a really rough start. I mean, just a tough nine holes. Other than that, on the back nine today was by far the best that I've played, the most control I've had of the ball and the best I've felt putting the ball in a couple years," Spieth said.

It all added up to a 1-over 73, which dropped Spieth into a tie for 16th place. He began the third round four shots off the lead, but is now eight back of 54-hole leader Si Woo Kim. Regardless of his position, Spieth left the course in a positive frame of mind thanks to the 180 he pulled.

"I actually look at today as progress," he said. "I needed the start today to recognize that there [were] things that still needed adjustment and I made those adjustments mid-round and was able to shoot 5 under from what was a 6-over front nine. That shows me that with a few reps, I'm really close to being right where I want to be."