It's been a while since Jordan Spieth played on a Sunday without a chance to win.
That's the situation the world No. 1 finds himself in heading into the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Spieth barely made the 54-hole cut after wrapping up his third round, a 2-over 74 at Pebble Beach Golf Links, to get through the tournament's three-course rotation. However, at 1 under par through three rounds, Spieth trails leader Phil Mickelson by 15 shots heading into the final round.
It'll be a low-key final round for Spieth, and it sounds like he's kind of relieved.
“I’m not in contention. It will be the first stress-free round that I’ve really had in quite a while where I’ve played a Sunday not having a chance to win,” Spieth said. “It’s not good, but at the same time, I think I can get into a groove and not lose any hair over the back nine. I’m going to fire at some pins.”
Spieth has been off in all facets of his game through the week. However, the most glaring problem has been Spieth's par-5 performance. He's played the 12 par 5s he's seen this week in a meager even par. It has left Spieth frustrated and in a mindset that he'll have to learn to overcome to finish well in weeks when he doesn't have his best game.
“If you ask (caddie) Michael (Greller), he'll say man, these last few rounds that we have played, I've seemed more frustrated, I've kind of been more negative on the golf course than I have in a long time," Spieth said. "Over a year. The good news is I'm realizing it. The bad news is that it's happened and it's affected my play. I have plenty of time now to figure it out.”
Perhaps landing an early tee time, however, will be the swift kick in the butt he needs to prepare better for tournaments leading into the Masters. Spieth admitted after his third round that in his last three events – in Abu Dhabi, Singapore and at Pebble – he hasn't come in ready to grind from the start.
“All three I've kind of approached as if I should shoot 6, 7 or 8 under each round like we did in Hawaii (at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, which he won by eight shots), why not? It's that easy,” Spieth said. “But it just isn't. And we were really on that weekend. I caught the breaks and I was putting well.”
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