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Spieth's putter catches fire in Saturday 65

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PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Even for the best players, golf can be a cruel game.

In his young career, Jordan Spieth has established himself as one of the sport's best clutch putters, but this season those normally automatic attempts have proven increasingly difficult.

“Sometimes this game can kind of tear you down and make you think some of the best parts of your game are some of the worst parts of your game when really it's so close,” Spieth said on Saturday at The Players. “With the top players, there's such a fine line.”

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Spieth found himself on the correct side of that line on Day 3 at TPC Sawgrass, teeing off in the second group on his way to a 7-under 65 that vaulted him, at least temporarily, into the top 10 at 8 under par.

For Spieth, there was no mystery as to how he was able to post his lowest round ever at The Players. He needed just 24 putts, with seven one-putts on his inward loop which included birdies at Nos. 11, 12, 13, 16, 17 and 18.

He was 17 for 17 on putts from 10 feet or closer.

“I'm telling you, if you don't miss a putt inside of 15 feet, golf is pretty easy,” he said. “But when you are making half of them, like I was the first round, then it's a harder game. So I felt like I had the freedom in the stroke.”