Jordan Spieth shot a third round of 70, two under par, in the third round of the 2015 Masters, to carry a four-shot lead into the final round
The runaway train that is Jordan Spieth rattled over some bumpy tracks this afternoon at Augusta National in the third round of the 2015 Masters, but not enough to derail this 21-year-old Texan from setting yet another Masters scoring record. After 54 holes, Spieth has played just 200 shots, edging ahead of the three-round mark of 201 that was set by Raymond Floyd in 1976 and matched by Tiger Woods in 1997. Spieth has a four-shot lead too.
He really had to fight for it down the stretch. Having been the model of golfing composure all week, Spieth pulled his drive on the 17th into trees and it went from bad to worse. A wedge found the fairway, but then Spieth’s pitched third shot stopped short. Three putts later and he had carded his first double bogey of the 2015 Masters.
Then from the 18th fairway Spieth sent his approach flying into the seated gallery to the right of the green. It looked like an impossible downhill chip was going to leave his round in tatters, but he deftly lobbed the ball onto the green, and a cool nine-foot putt later, Spieth had saved his par and four-shot advantage.
“Being four‑under at one point in the round and closing it out at two‑under is disappointing,” said Spieth after his round. “I would have liked to have finished the round a little bit better, but it also could have been worse, and I am very pleased with that up‑and‑down on 18. That just took some guts, and having been in contention enough, having been on Tour for a few years, I felt comfortable enough playing that full flop. If you caught me a year and a half ago, I probably never would have played that shot in that scenario. So it was nice to see it go that way, to make the aggressive play, and to close it out with a nice putt.”
While Spieth held on today, Phil Mickelson and England’s Justin Rose seized the day brilliantly, both firing scores of 67, five under par, to ensure tomorrow’s final round will not be a procession for the young pretender.
“Jordan is playing very good golf and I think he’ll have a good round tomorrow,” said Mickelson. “If he were to come out on top it would be great to have him in the Champions’ Dinner every year. He would just be a great champion. He’s a classy guy. Jordan represents the game very well and at a very young age and he’s just got a lot of game, so if he were to come out on top, it would be wonderful for the tournament, wonderful for the game. I’m going to try to stop him, but we’ll see how it goes.”
Spieth had already set a new Masters record for the halfway score with his 130, 14 under par, surpassing Floyd’s 1976 mark of 131. If Spieth shoots a 69, three under par, in the final round he will set a new four-round scoring mark too. That will probably be enough to see him slip his arms into the Green Jacket and become the first wire-to-wire winner of the Masters since, you guessed it, Raymond Floyd in 1976.
Robin Barwick travelled to Augusta National with Mercedes-Benz. Mercedes-Benz is a Global Sponsor of the Masters