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Jordan Spieth shoots 61 to tie for lead after 3rd round of Phoenix Open

Nick Bromberg
·2 min read
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Is this the beginning of a Jordan Spieth renaissance?

The three-time major winner shot an 10-under 61 during the third round of Saturday’s Waste Management Phoenix Open to tie for the lead with Xander Schauffele at 18-under ahead of Sunday’s final round.

Spieth’s putting was phenomenal on Saturday as he carded 10 birdies and eight pars. Take a look at this putt he drained to move to -17 on No. 16:

And then he hit his 10th birdie putt on the day at No. 17.

The 10-under round follows opening rounds of 67 and 67 for Spieth. Schauffele shot a 65 after he entered the third round leading by a stroke.

Spieth has struggled lately

If you’re a regular golf-watcher you’re well aware of Spieth’s recent struggles. He’s been looking for consistency for quite a long time since that third major.

Spieth’s 2017 British Open win is the most recent of his 11 PGA Tour wins. After winning those 11 events in just over four years, Spieth has gone winless over the last three-plus years and hasn’t played well since he tied for third in the 2019 PGA Championship. He finished in the top 25 in just four of his 17 PGA Tour starts in 2020 and last held the lead or co-lead in a tournament after 54 holes at the 2018 British Open.

Perhaps the weekend at Phoenix is a sign that things are now clicking for Spieth. He’s hit nearly 80 percent of greens in regulation through the first three rounds despite hitting just 43 percent of the fairways. While Spieth hasn’t been hitting it straight off the tee, he’s made up for it on his approach shots and with his putter.

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 06: Jordan Spieth of the United States reacts to a birdie on the 16th hole during the third round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale on February 06, 2021 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Jordan Spieth carded 10 birdies on Saturday to take the co-lead after three rounds in Phoenix. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

No one else within two shots

Spieth and Schauffele have a three-shot lead on everyone else heading into the final round of the annual pre-Super Bowl tournament.

Scottie Scheffler will be grouped with the two leaders in the final round and he’s tied with Kyoung-Hoon Lee at 15-under. Justin Thomas and Louis Oosthuizen are at 14-under while Brooks Koepka is one of three golfers a shot behind them.

Steve Stricker, 53, entered Saturday’s third round a stroke behind Schauffele but is tied with Koepka after he shot just a 69.

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