Jordan Spieth found himself stuck in neutral for most of the third round of the 2016 Barclays en route to a one-over 72 on Saturday. The effort dropped him to three-under overall, leaving him five strokes off the lead as he walked off the course with afternoon play ongoing.
The 23-year-old American is lucky to find himself with even a small chance to win the event based on some of the predicaments he's been playing from this week. He's often been playing his second shot from the rough or a fairway bunker, a trend that continued in Round 3.
Let's check out his hole-by-hole results from Day 3 at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, New York:
|Jordan Spieth at The Barclays: Round 3 Scorecard|
And here's a look at the updated tournament leaderboard:
Spieth has kept himself within striking distance of the lead throughout the week despite battling through some lingering issues off the tee. The reigning FedEx Cup champion admitted after the second round that he hasn't been able to find the right touch, per Patrick Kiernan of Golf Digest.
"That's going to be the key for me the next couple days," he said Friday. "I still don't feel great about the way I swung the driver. I found some fairways towards the end but I need to kind of try and figure out a ball flight I know I can play on each hole, whether it's a draw or a fade."
The PGA Tour highlighted his start to Saturday's round—a laser into the fairway:
He actually found the short grass with each of his first two tee shots. Alas, following those encouraging signs during the early going, the problems resurfaced for a vast majority of the round. After No. 2, he didn't find another fairway until the 15th hole.
The result was a lot of pars. It's a frustrating situation for the two-time major champion because the rest of his game is in a place where he should be either leading or hanging right there with the leaders. Instead, he's been forced to grind his way through the first three rounds just to stay in the mix.
Spieth exchanged a bogey on the third for a birdie on the fourth. Everything else was a par until an ugly double bogey on the par-three 17th. He flubbed his second shot from the rough and ended up missing a five-foot putt for bogey.
The Texas native ended on a positive note, though. He found another fairway bunker off the tee, but he recovered nicely to give himself a mid-range look at a birdie. And his putter came through at a time when he needed it, as he closed with a 17-foot make to get one stroke back.
The PGA Tour spotlighted the rare bright spot for Spieth:
Looking ahead, he will likely need to go super low Sunday in order to get back into contention heading into the final holes. The way he's played this week makes it tough to count him out despite his issues on moving day, however.
It's no secret the key will be his play off the tee. Even though it's difficult to make the necessary changes to break out of a driving slump in one day, if he can suddenly find his range on that first shot, everything could fall into place for him to make a charge.