Five strokes off the pace after the second round at a sun-baked Whistling Straits, the Masters and U.S. Open champion fired a bogey-free seven-under-par 65 to vault within two strokes of Australian leader Jason Day.
Lingmerth said: “It was a very good feeling but there’s some scores to be had out there and my lead will probably not last too long”.
Spieth is seeking to join Ben Hogan and Tiger Woods as the only players in the modern era to have won three majors in a single year.
Day showed plenty of moxie, though.
Just like his bid for the Grand Slam that ended at St. Andrews, Spieth is more concerned with one trophy than a collection.
Matt Jones of Australia is 11 under with one hole to play, good for a two-shot lead over Jason Day, who wrapped up a round of 5-under 67 this morning. He had a 65 and was four shots behind.
Day looked like he was headed that direction. The next minute he was pulling himself together.
Spieth’s highlights in his third round included six birdies in his final eight holes including three consecutive birdies on his last three holes to close out the day with a flourish.
He tugged a 5-iron into a bunker left of the 15th green and was surprised by the amount of sand.
Spieth, who shot 71 in tough afternoon conditions on Thursday, was delighted to play his way into contention, despite struggling with his driver. But he missed the 15th green left from the fairway into a bunker and failed to get the ball out on his first attempt, eventually taking double. He recalled saying: “You’ve got to be kidding me”.
Spieth figured he would be four or five shots behind going into the weekend, and that might be the case. I’m going to have fun with it and I’m pretty relaxed on the golf course. I putted much better today thankfully. “So I’ve got to stay out of my own way and just let things happen”. “But I think it’s all in the process that I’ve had”.
Rose recovered from a double bogey on the fourth for the second day running with six birdies in the next 12 holes as he looks to claim a second major title. He picked up another shot on No. 16, rolled in a birdie on No. 17 and hit a wonderful approach into No. 18 to finish off the round in style.
He was at 15-under 201. Before that, Day, cruising at 16-under par, was five shots ahead of Spieth, even as the Texan inched up the leaderboard. “This is what we all play for”.
But major championships do require an extraordinary mix of aggressiveness and poise.
The best-placed man to challenge the lead of Day and Jones though is England’s Justin Rose, just a shot behind, as he aims to better his performance in 2012 when he finished third. And not to be overlooked was Martin Kaymer.
“It’s amazing to be in the lead”, said Jones, who is making just his eighth appearance in a major.
At the U.S. Open in June, he was in a four-way tie for the lead despite battling symptoms of vertigo and faded over the final round.
Hole 5: Day (-10) got up and down for birdie after missing his second shot short and right.
“It’s all been trending in the right direction”.