Jordan Spieth had a share of the lead early on Saturday but faded as his round continued. (Halleran/Getty Images)
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Jordan Spieth birdied three of his first five holes in Saturday's third round of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. That last birdie gave him a share of the lead.
It vanished quickly. Spieth posted four bogeys and a double bogey during a 10-hole stretch in the middle of his round and went from co-leader to chaser, four shots behind leader Matt Kuchar going into Sunday's final round.
For the 19-year-old Dallas native, it was a frustrating turn of events.
"I can't focus too much on today," Spieth said. "I'm really happy with the way I putted. I just made some mental errors -- just rookie mistakes that cost me about four shots. Otherwise, I'd be tied for the lead."
Spieth said he was pushing to get a few more birdies after he went to 11 under and a share of the lead with Matt Kuchar early in his round. But he suffered bogeys at the sixth and ninth holes.
After a birdie at the par-4 11th, Spieth saw his approach shot into the par-4 12th plug into the greenside bunker to set up a bogey.
Then he picked the wrong club at the par-3 13th and found the water with his tee shot. "It was a decision that obviously looks bad afterward," he said.
Spieth said he "just got fooled big-time by the wind on four or five holes," including his approach at the 15th when he found the water for the second time in his round and made bogey.
"I just guessed incorrectly twice in a row," he said. "If I guess it right on both 13 and 15, I maybe save three shots. So it's just tough luck.
"I'm happy to close with a birdie and carry it into tomorrow only four back."
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Jordan Spieth, the 19-year-old from Dallas, birdied the par-4 second hole after hitting his approach shot from 100 yards to 4 feet.
Spieth is 10 under for the tournament through his first eight holes in Saturday's third round and is just one shot off the lead held by Graham DeLaet.
Watch Jordan Spieth's bounce-back birdie at the seventh hole
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
FORT WORTH, Texas -- An unfortunate break at the sixth hole cost 19-year-old Jordan Spieth one stroke in Friday's second round of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.
But a bounce-back birdie on the next hole left him feeling upbeat about his chances entering the weekend.
Spieth, the Dallas native, had reached the par-4 sixth 3 under on his round after starting the day on the 10th tee. His approach shot to the sixth landed 20-1/2 feet from the pin. It also landed in a footprint left from one of the earlier players walking off the green.
The ball was in a precarious spot, in between some spike marks. Spieth marked his ball, then placed it in the correct spot. As he took his practice strokes, Spieth saw the ball "start to tilt" due to its proximity with one of the spike marks.
Spieth waited for the ball to stop, then grounded his putter. Right as he did, the ball tumbled down into one of the spike marks.
"My putter did not cause it to move," Spieth said. "I know that for a fact. But it was just a bad break in timing.
"If I had hit the putt two seconds earlier, it would haven't done that. If I waited two seconds longer, I wouldn't have ground my putter."
After consulting with one of his playing parters, Spieth spoke with rules official Stephen Cox, and ultimately called a one-stroke penalty on himself for violating rule 18-2b.
"It's an unfortunate ruling," Spieth said. "That's just how it goes."
The change in rules two years ago that prevent penalties on players when the ball moves due to wind conditions while at address did not apply in this case. The rule specifically states that "gravity is not in itself an element that should be considered" for exception to rule 18-2b.
"Unfortunately for him, gravity was the cause of that ball moving after address," Cox said.
"That's only if the wind blows it, or a dog runs over it, or a squirrel knocks it," Spieth said. "I guess gravity isn't part of that. But what the PGA TOUR officials told me after the round is they are looking into changing that."
Indeed, Cox said that 18-2b is under evaluation.
"There is certainly talk within the game at the moment that a little bit down the line, that we may well get rid of 18-2b all together," Cox said. "But this is the way it is now."
Spieth acknowledged that he was "pretty upset" about the lost stroke, but he bounced back quickly. His approach shot at the seventh hole rolled a foot to the pin for a bounce-back birdie, his second of the day.
"No. 7 was the most important hole I've played all week so far today," Spieth said.
IRVING, Texas -- Following a second-round 68 on Friday at the HP Byron Nelson Championship, Jordan Spieth reflects on his play with Fred Albers from SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio.
Spieth, the 19-year-old from Dallas playing for the first time as a pro in his hometown event, is 3 under through two rounds.
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
IRVING, Texas -- If he makes the cut this week, Jordan Spieth will finally get a paycheck at the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
The 19-year-old Spieth, in his first season as a pro, is making his third appearance in his hometown event. As a 16-year-old in 2010, he opened with three rounds in the 60s and eventually finished tied for 16th. The next year, he finished tied for 32nd.
But as an amateur, he couldn't accept the money that came with those two results, thus leaving $129,442.85 on the table.
"You can look at the magazine or the newspaper the day after and see what everyone else that tied with you made, and it shows a big fat zero next to your name," Spieth said Wednesday. "So it's nice to be able to, you know, get money for playing golf."
Just like his previous appearances here, Spieth is playing on a sponsor's exemption, this time as a Special Temporary Member. That means he has unlimited sponsor's exemptions for the rest of the year in hopes of earning his PGA TOUR card for the 2013-14 season. He's well on his way, having earned $699,472 in nine starts.
And unlike his previous two starts here, he's no longer living at home. He now has an apartment in Dallas -- "a cool spot downtown" -- and has a roommate, former University of Texas teammate Alex Moon.
But something that hasn't changed is his desire to play well in this event. He's played the TPC Four Seasons Resort course quite often and his previous results indicate he should be in for a productive week.
"I've thought about this event from the beginning of the year, and I think about it leading up to it, how can I prepare for the Nelson," Spieth said.
"I wouldn't consider it a fifth major because I don't know if I'm going to play in any majors this year, but it's definitely special. It's dear to my heart... If I were to choose one to win as soon as I can, it would be this one right now."
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. -- Jordan Spieth had never played more than two weeks in a row before this year.
But after gaining Special Temporary Membership on the PGA TOUR -- which will allow him unlimited sponsor exemptions the remainder of this season -- he'll play as many as he can.
"The hardest part is just adapting to the travel and off course," the 19-year-old former University of Texas standout said. "I've been striking the ball well week to week, even playing four in a row, which is reassuring, because I had never done that before. I didn't know how I'd hold up."
The answer came quickly.
In six starts this season on the PGA TOUR, Spieth has a runner-up and a tie for seventh among them. He also finished in the top 7 in the two Web.com Tour events he played.
Playing for the first time since finishing seventh at the Valero Texas Open, Spieth embarks on a busy stretch. Beginning with this week's RBC Heritage, he'll play five of the next six -- unless he wins, which would get him into THE PLAYERS Championship.
"A good year for me would have been playing well to start the year, and on the Web.com Tour, and continuing to play on the Web.com Tour the entire year," Spieth said. "A great year would have been somehow within seven starts earning enough to do what I guess seven other people have done in the past, Bud Cauley being the most recent and earning PGA TOUR status that way."
Now with unlimited exemptions, Spieth has a chance to do that.
"It is different and it's difficult," he said. "A lot of these courses I've just watched on TV."
Jordan Spieth struggled on TPC San Antonio's green complexes Friday. (Dykes/Getty Images)
By Tim Price, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
SAN ANTONIO -- It’s not often that a PGA TOUR pro feels like a weekend player, but Jordan Spieth went through it Friday when he shot a 4-over 76 at TPC San Antonio’s AT&T Oaks Course and missed the cut by two shots.
“I just feel like my little sister could have putted for me and shot a better round,” Spieth said. “I made everything on the practice green. And then I got out there and missed a couple early and I was never able to settle down.”
It’s oft the plight of the weekend golfer; hit everything well on the practice range and get out to the course only to rake it around.
Spieth, the 19-year-old who is playing his way onto the TOUR after leaving the national champion Texas Longhorns after one year, counted 36 putts in his round. TOUR stats counted 30, yet Spieth doesn’t sound like numbers would make him feel better.
“You don’t see a round coming when you’re hitting 15 greens and you have seven looks at birdie,” Spieth said. “Most people look at that as a 2-under or 3-under round, especially on a difficult course like this.”
He missed a five-foot birdie putt on No. 2, missed from inside 10 feet at No. 3, missed a six-footer on the fifth and the damage was done. He sank no putts past four feet all day, and in the first round Thursday he had 25 putts and made six putts past four feet including a 28-footer.
Spieth played in the group with top-10 players Rory McIlroy and Matt Kuchar, and he saw McIlroy rally to get within three shots of the lead with a 67 and saw Kuchar rally back from the danger of missing the cut (he was 3-over and a stroke past the cut line) by saving some crucial pars and adding two birdies on the back nine.
“Matt was in a lot of really hard positions and he made his seven- to eight-foot par putts,” Spieth said. “I had seven putts for birdie inside 10 feet and made zero. Even the (player who’s) ranked last on TOUR makes two or three of those.”
Jordan Spieth earned Special Temporary Membership for the remainder of the season after tying for seventh in Tampa two weeks ago.
Now he's looking to take it a step further in San Antonio.
Should Spieth go on to win, he would lock up his TOUR card for the next two years -- and the FedExCup points he's accrued so far would be applied retroactively, making him eligible for the FedExCup Playoffs later this year.
In the meantime, however, Spieth continues to sit on the non-member FedExCup Points list, which means his points will be used toward 2013-14 membership.
This is a change from a few years ago when Arjun Atwal won the Wyndham Championship in 2010 as a non-member but not eligible for the Playoffs.
The same happened to Graeme McDowell when he won the U.S. Open earlier that summer.
So far, Spieth has two top 10s in five starts -- a runner-up in Puerto Rico and the aforementioned tie for seventh in Tampa. (He's also recorded a couple of top-7 finishes in two starts on the Web.com Tour.)
Of course if Spieth goes on to win, that would take care of everything.