Spieth closes in on Day for US PGA lead at Whistling Straits
A superb round of golf from two-time 2015 Major winner Jordan Spieth at the US PGA Championship saw him come to within two shots of leader Jason Day who finished on 15-under-par and the slight favourite at 7/5 with Coral going into the last round.
The final day promises some top golf, with a high profile chasing pack, spearheaded by Spieth, with South Africa’s Brendan Grace and Justin Rose tied on 12-under-par, former winner Martin Kaymer a shot behind and Dustin Johnson on nine-under-par, at 45/1 to win.
Spieth has been in this position before this year. At Chambers Bay earlier in the summer, he overturned Johnson’s lead at the US Open, in what was a gritty performance and exceptional regulation play. Therefore, his odds of 15/8 cannot be ignored, while Rose, after what has been a year he can be proud of will be desperate to end on a victory, so his odds of 13/2 could be good value.
Seven birdies from Rose, brought the Englishman to within three shots of the lead and was confident looking ahead to the climax. “I think I was in the same position at Merion (when winning the 2013 US Open), in the second or third group, and won by two,” said Rose. “All you’re asking for is a chance on Sunday.”
Going into the back nine though, Spieth was someway off the leader before he changed tack. After nine consistent pars, he stormed up the leaderboard with six successive birdies, positioning himself nicely for a challenge on the final day.
“At the beginning of the round I wasn’t as aggressive and told myself, ‘It’s time to start taking some chances’,” said Spieth. “In order to keep up with these leaders you have to make birdies.”
Rory McIlroy, meanwhile, is remaining realistic after he finished the round nine shots off the lead (2/1 for a top 10 finish) following a frustrating day, while Tiger Woods missed the cut on four-over-par.
“In the back of your mind, you still think you have a chance, because that’s what your competitive nature tells you,” said McIlroy.
“But if you’re looking at it realistically, I want to go out there tomorrow and shoot the best score that I’ve shot this week.”