It's official: Jordan Spieth has failed to win a major championship in the 2016 PGA season.
Spieth carded a two-under 68 in Sunday's fourth round at the 2016 PGA Championship. He's now in a tie for 14th place. Spieth is four strokes behind current clubhouse leader Daniel Summerhays (-10) for the tournament and seven strokes short of overall leader Jimmy Walker (-13).
The 23-year-old Texan entered Sunday with 35 holes to play. Rain cut his third round short Saturday after just one hole, leaving him with an early wake-up call for a long day of golf at Baltusrol Golf Club.
Spieth, who was three under overall heading into Sunday, carded a one-under 69 in his third round. After struggling through Thursday and Friday with poor putting, Spieth cut his strokes on the short grass down but still failed to make a big push up the leaderboard. Here's what Spieth said after his third round, per Golf Channel's Will Gray :
I discovered after the first two rounds that my ball position was significantly up in my stance with the putter. It’s really a shame because it knocked off my speed control. I had a lot of opportunities the first two rounds to be 6-to-9 under par instead of 3, and I just didn’t get anything going. If I had discovered that ahead of time, it would have made a world of difference because I hit great putts today, just didn’t have as many chances.
That left him seven strokes down heading into the afternoon's fourth round—an insurmountable deficit given the strong field ahead of him.
Spieth navigated his final 18 holes well despite struggles finding the fairway and with ball placement on his irons. He consistently put himself in position for two-putt pars, though he did bogey the par-four third to play his first five holes at one over.
It was pretty smooth sailing the rest of the way, with Spieth narrowly missing a few putts that would have had him pushing for 65 or 66. He got back to even with a sensational 28-footer on No. 6, with PGA.com capturing the action:
Another birdie at the par-three ninth allowed Spieth to make the turn at one under for the day. Unfortunately, narrow misses halted his momentum. He was within four inches of sinking an 11-foot birdie putt on No. 10 and messed up a three-foot gimme on No. 13. Couple that with a pair of near misses on long putts on Nos. 12 and 14, and Spieth was a few inches from going on a big birdie run.
Nathan Fournier of the Sun Journal noticed Spieth's frustration:
The par-four 15th gave Spieth a brief reprieve, as he knocked through an eight-footer. But it was of little solace on his final three holes. Given the chance to lock up a top-10 finish on the pair of par-fives that close out the New Jersey-based golf course, Spieth again lost his ability to nail close putts.
He missed a birdie from a little over five feet out on No. 17 and closed his day with another two-putt from inside seven feet on No. 18. Overall, he missed three birdie putts from inside seven feet—shots that at the very least would have put pressure on the leaders.
Spieth instead will walk away with another solid-but-lacking performance in a major. After posting five straight top-fives in majors from the 2015 Masters to the 2016 Masters, Spieth has been outside the top 10 in three straight. He finished tied for 37th at the U.S. Open and tied for 30th at the Open Championship.
While he closes out his year with a marked improvement, he still has only three top-10 finishes since winning January's Hyundai Tournament of Champions. At age 23, he has a long career ahead, but the Woodsian-level dominance he had early in 2015 might not become the norm as some expected.