Jordan Spieth entered the third round of the Pebble Beach Pro-Am 11 shots back of halftime leader Seamus Power. But after shooting a low-round 63, the 28-year-old Texan will enter Sunday’s finale on the Monterrey Peninsula just one off the pace.
The 2017 Pebble winner got off to a terrific start, chasing back-to-back birdies on the opening two holes, with an eagle on the par-5 sixth hole to reach 4 under. But it was a par on the eighth hole that was Spieth’s highlight of the day: with his ball just inches from the cliff’s edge on the par-4 hole, Spieth ignored advice from caddie Michael Greller to “pick it up.”
Instead, he essentially risked death, hit the shot, and saved par.
He followed up that gutsy feat with birdies on 9 and 11 to move into the top chasing pack. Then, after a bogey on No. 13 – his only blemish of the day, Spieth bounced back, and then some, by reeling off four birdies on his closing five, highlighted by a final-hole gain to reach 14 under.
“I guess I’m one back, I think the leaderboard’s pretty bunched, Pebble can yield low scores,” said Spieth, who leads the field in strokes gained: approach to the green (5.310).
“So I think I just kind of learned a little from last year, last year I went in with the lead and I was a little tentative early and Berger came out firing, I think went like birdie, eagle to start.
“I think not being in the final group I just kind of approach it like today where I feel like, you know, sometimes it can be a little easier not in the final group to go ahead and fire away.
“You almost just set a goal for a number for the day and pretend you got to get there in order to win. So we’ll just kind of see where the pins are and adjust on the range.”
The day’s low score moved Spieth into a tie for the fourth spot, alongside Patrick Cantlay (68) and Joel Dahmen (66). They were one back of the lead trio which included Beau Hossler (65), Andrew Putnam (68) and Tom Hoge (68).
AT&T Pebble Beach Leaderboard
Top-10: Round 3
Pos-Player-Score (Rd 3)
1. Beau Hossler -15 (-7)
1. Tom Hoge -15 (-4)
1. Andrew Putnam -15 (-4)
4. Jordan Spieth -14 (-9)
4. Joel Dahmen -14 (-6)
4. Patrick Cantlay -14 (-4)
7. Seamus Power -13 (+3)
8. Denny McCarthy -11 (-5)
8. Jason Day -11 (-2)
10. Keith Mitchell -10 (-4)
10. Bo Van Pelt -10 (-4)
10. Dylan Frittelli -10 (-4)
10. Matt Fitzpatrick -10 (-3)
10. Greyson Sigg -10 (-2)
10. Sean O’Hair -10 (-1)
10. Troy Merritt -10 (-1)
Sunday Tee Times, Pairings
- 12:22 pm: Power (-13), Day (-11)
- 12:33 pm: Spieth (-14), Dahmen (-14)
- 12:44 pm: Hoge (-15), Cantlay (-14)
- 12:55 pm: Hossler (-15), Putnam (-15)