(Reuters) - Jordan Spieth was far from perfect in the third round at Colonial on Saturday but the three-times major champion said it was a measure of his recent progress that he was still in the hunt for his first title in three years.
The Dallas native, whose last victory came at the 2017 British Open, mixed four birdies with two bogeys for a two-under-par 68 at the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas, leaving him in a five-way share for second place.
“Today was a day where I look at the last couple years and potentially say that would have been a two- or three-over and taken me all the way out of the tournament and I like the progression I’ve been able to make,” said Spieth, who is a shot behind leader Xander Schauffele.
“I feel comfortable going into tomorrow that I can shoot a
Spieth hit just seven of 14 fairways and 10 of 18 greens in regulation during the third round at Colonial Country Club but salvaged his day with some solid putting, not missing anything within 10 feet.
If Spieth triumphs on Sunday, he would join Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas as the only players in the last 60 years to win 12 times on the PGA Tour before turning 27.
Spieth has grown accustomed to partisan support at Colonial but will have to chase his spot in the record books in near silence as the course is closed to spectators to stem the spread of COVID-19.
“That will be a bit odd,” said Spieth. “As the week has gone on it’s felt weirder in my opinion. ... You know, I like to feed off the crowds.”
Editing by Peter Rutherford