SANDWICH, England — Nearly as quickly as he squandered two shots on the final two holes at Royal St. George’s, Jordan Spieth sprinted off the 18th green, scratched out his signature on his scorecard and bolted for the practice putting green.
A missed 2-footer on the final green helped ruin what was otherwise a strong effort during the third round of The Open as the three-putt from 20 feet on the 18th followed a bogey at the 17th, where Spieth missed the green.
Spieth spent 35 minutes with a putting aid, caddie Michael Greller and coach Cameron McCormick afterward.
Those mistakes were huge for Spieth, who is looking to win his first major championship since capturing the 2017 Open at Royal Birkdale.
Instead of a final-group pairing with tournament leader Louis Oosthuizen, Spieth’s lost shots dropped him three strokes back and into the second-to-last pairing with Corey Conners. Collin Morikawa is a stroke behind Oosthuizen and will play in the final group, which tees off at 9:35 a.m. ET.
Early on, it very much looked like Spieth’s day, as he birdied two of the first four holes. After a bogey at the fifth, he birdied the sixth, seventh and 10th and was tied with Oosthuizen as late as the 15th hole.
But Spieth made no more birdies and had bogeys at the 11th, 17th and 18th holes while Oosthuizen birdied the 16th to take the lead.
For the round, Spieth had 32 putts and was clearly annoyed afterward, declining all media requests to get to the putting green as quickly as possible. There, he worked for a long time on his stroke and alignment and spent considerable time conversing with McCormick.
Spieth won earlier this year at the Valero Texas Open for his first victory since capturing The Open in 2017 for his third major title. This is his best chance to win a major since he was the 54-hole co-leader at the 2018 Open but dropped to a tie for ninth at Carnoustie.
He also finished third at the 2018 Masters and tied for third at the 2019 PGA Championship.