Jordan Spieth Takes the Lead at John Deere Classic


The rust has officially been knocked off. Jordan Spieth, playing in his first event since winning the U.S. Open, has shown progress everyday this week of the John Deere Classic. Jordan said his round was a little rough at Wednesday’s pro-am and then shooting even par on Thursday, it looked like he might miss the cut. That is, if you dare doubt Jordan Spieth.

After posting a 7-under on Friday to put himself in contention, Spieth made even more progress on Saturday by joining the top of the leaderboard.

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Once things finally got underway  on Saturday after two rain delays, Spieth started the day five shots back of Justin Thomas and got things going early on the par 5 2nd hole.

After putting his drive in the fairway, he hit a 3-wood from 260 yards out and cozied the ball within two feet for a tap in eagle to put himself three shots back. He would grab another birdie on the 5th hole to get within two shots.

Then he reached the 8th hole, where he got a harsh taste of reality. Hitting his approach shot too perfectly, Spieth’s ball almost dunked in the hole, but hit the edge of the cup and shot back 25 feet where he lay for birdie. In a rare sight, the golf gods showed sympathy for Spieth’s unfortunate break. He drained his birdie putt and sat one shot back of the leaders.

On the 9th, Spieth staying consistent with his irons, put another 233-yard shot within six feet. He would drain the birdie putt and join four others for the lead at 12-under. By the time he parred the next hole, there were six leaders tied for the lead.

15 minutes later Daniel Summerhays, Justin Thomas, and Will Wilcox would increase the lead to -13, but after a birdie on the 7th, Summerhays would take sole possession of the lead at -14.

Spieth reached the 13th hole and continued to show off his consistent play, piping his drive 300 yards down the fairway and then sticking his 102-yard approach shot within four feet of the hole. He would tap in for birdie to reach 13-under and sit one back of the lead.

By the time he reached the par 3 16th, it was last week’s winner at the Greenbrier Classic, Danny Lee, who had possession of the lead. Spieth kept his hot play going and birdied the par 3 to join Lee at 14-under.

A drive on the par 5 17th put Spieth into some trouble in the trees on the left side of the fairway, but it was nothing he couldn’t handle. He found a chute and punched his second shot out of the jail cell, putting his shot 106 yards away.

What happened next shouldn’t surprise anyone. The young lad holed out for eagle to take a one shot lead at -16 over Danny Lee. With his eagle, it became Spieth’s 12th round with seven or more birdies or better all season, the most on the PGA TOUR.

16-under wasn’t enough for Spieth. He would drained an 18-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to finish birdie-eagle-birdie and end his round with a 61 and take a two shot lead heading into Sunday. His bogey-free round is the best of his career and consisted of two eagles and six birdies.

Jordan’s position throughout the tournament has improved each day. Starting out T-101st on Thursday, he come back with an impressive 64 on Thursday to sit T-16th and he finished the third round in 1st. He gained a total of 9.4 strokes on the field in his third round. That’s not a typo, people.

Here’s a look at his scorecard:

Something else that improved with each day of the John Deere Classic was his putting. After 31 putts on the first day, Jordan followed that up with 25 putts on Friday and 23 putts on Saturday.

He has found his usual swagger after a rusty start to the week and is in complete control of his game. His confidence is allowing him to go for after the flagstick and is hitting almost every shot he looks after. Everything is setting up for the 21 year old to win the John Deere Classic for a second time in his young career.

Next: Chris Kirk Withdraws From Open Championship