It wasn’t pretty, but 20 year-old Jordan Spieth made an almost impossible putt from the backside of the 18th green at The Players Championship on Saturday afternoon, and took a share of the 54 hole lead to the clubhouse. The putt had bogey written all over it, but the youngster from Dallas found a way to sneak it in the hole for his final par of the day.
As Spieth battled it out all day with 36-hole leader, Martin Kaymer for the lead, Aussie, John Senden and 2008 Players Champ, Sergio Garcia were sneaking up the leaderboard, and are well within striking distance as play resumes for the Sunday finale’ at TPC Sawgrass.
With the winds picking up on Saturday, and the greens drying out, it should be an interesting finish to a great tournament on the PGA Tour’s first Stadium Course in Ponte Vedra Beach. The winds are expected to be strong again today, and that will make the iconic green at 17, and the treacherous tee shot at 18 key in someone notching a win.
Jordan Spieth didn’t bring his A-Game to Sawgrass on Saturday, but was able to scramble all afternoon to continue making pars. He made one birdie on the day at the par 5 11th hole and carded a -1 under par 71. With Martin Kaymer shooting even par on Saturday, the two will play in the final group again on Sunday.
“I’m very excited,” Spieth, 20, said. “This is a position I wanted to get into in another big tournament. Augusta left me feeling a little hungry for it again, and here we are.”
Martin Kaymer who hasn’t won since the 2010 PGA Championship when Dustin Johnson was penalized for grounding his club in one of the 200 fairway bunkers at Whistling Straits will have to overcome a partisan crowd in Florida who want to see Spieth get his second win on the tour.
The German had went through some swing changes in the last four years to add a draw to his arsenal, and has decided to live and die with his fade. He had dropped from number one in the world to 81st, but looks to be back on-track, and will be a formidable foe for today’s action.
“It was difficult today,” Kaymer said. “It felt a bit like a Ryder Cup match, but we didn’t play in Europe, obviously. “When you’re trying to win a big tournament, usually you play them in America, so I’m always a foreigner. It’s a good challenge.
Spieth and Kaymer have a three-shot lead over John Senden,and Sergio Garcia, and three players lurking at -8 under par with a chance to win this event. Aussie Matt Jones. who won The Shell Houston Open to get the last Masters berth last month, along with Americans, George McNeill, and Gary Woodland are well within range to win on Sunday.