Jordan Spieth at Tournament of Champions 2017: Saturday Score and Reaction

Joe Pantorno@@JoePantornoFeatured ColumnistJanuary 7, 2017

LAHAINA, HI - JANUARY 07:  Jordan Spieth of the United States plays his shot from the fifth tee during the third round of the SBS Tournament of Champions at the Plantation Course at Kapalua Golf Club on January 7, 2017 in Lahaina, Hawaii.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Attempting to defend his title at the Tournament of Champions in Kapalua, Hawaii, Jordan Spieth had to battle just to stay in contention during Saturday's third round.

With 18 holes to go, Spieth sits at eight under par overall after shooting a three-under on the day.

At the time of his finish, he was tied for 18th:

Jordan Spieth's Round 3 Scorecard: Tournament of Champions

Spieth dug an early hole that took the rest of the front nine to work out of. On the par-three No. 2, Spieth double-bogeyed thanks to a penalty stroke along with two shots that found the bunker.

A birdie on No. 4 was canceled out by a bogey on No. 7 as Spieth struggled to get back to par heading to the ninth hole.

But his putter began to heat up, and it arrived in grand fashion with an eagle from 36 feet out on No. 9, via the PGA Tour:

Turning onto the back nine, he rattled off two straight birdies on Nos. 10 and 11, which included this long putt on the fringe of a slope change, via the PGA Tour:

His roller-coaster round continued with two straight bogeys on Nos. 13 and 14, which brought him back to even par. But his ride ascended one more time with three straight birdies before he ended his day with a par.

It was a solid recovery during a round that began in disappointing fashion. However, Spieth is at best on the fringe of competing for his second straight win at the Tournament of Champions. 

He'll need a monster round and a lot of help at the top of the leaderboard to get into the running Sunday.