CHARLOTTE (North Carolina) • Jordan Spieth's hopes of becoming the youngest golfer to complete a career Grand Slam by winning the 99th PGA Championship vanished with a closing double bogey in Saturday's third round.
The 24-year-old, who captured his third Major title at last month's British Open, fired a even-par 71 to total 216 and stand well off the lead in an event he says will be his most difficult Major to capture.
American Kevin Kisner clung to a one-stroke lead after a 72 to stand on seven-under 206 at the year's final Major tournament, while world No. 3 Hideki Matsuyama shot 73 to share second on 207 with American Chris Stroud (71).
"The PGA Championship, I think, is going to be the toughest for me," said Spieth.
Get The Straits Times
newsletters in your inbox
"If we look historically back on my career, I think I will play this tournament worse than the other three Majors - just in the way that it's set up."
The world No. 2 , who won the 2015 Masters and US Open, has two missed cuts, a 2015 runner-up effort and a share of 13th last year in his four previous PGA starts.
"I feel like my game truly suits the other three Majors, maybe more than the PGA," said the American. "But I believe we can play anywhere and can win anywhere. It's just a matter of having everything in sync at the right time."
3RD ROUND (Selected, USA unless stated)
206 Kevin Kisner 67 67 72
207 Chris Stroud 68 68 71, Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn) 70 64 73
208 Justin Thomas 73 66 69, Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa) 70 67 71
212 Rickie Fowler 69 70 73
213 Jason Day (Aus) 70 66 77
214 Henrik Stenson (Swe) 74 70 70
215 Brooks Koepka 68 73 74
216 Jordan Spieth 72 73 71, Jon Rahm (Esp) 70 75 71
217 Dustin Johnson 70 74 73, Rory McIlroy (Nir) 72 72 73
221 Adam Scott (Aus) 71 76 74
That was not the case at Quail Hollow, where he struggled with his putter until back-to-back birdies to close Saturday's front nine and three birdies in a row starting at the 14th hole.
"Any week you don't have a chance to win, you've fallen short of where you would like to be," he said. "Disappointing would have been going home after two days."
But he said there are things to be gained from every round, citing a strong final round at the US Open for building momentum ahead of his British Open victory.
"Just one round like that can do that," he said. "That's what I'm looking to do here."
Spieth expects to have many more chances to join Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan and Gary Player in completing the career Grand Slam.
"I didn't have it written in a diary from when I was young that I need to win a career Grand Slam as the youngest ever. That wasn't the goal," he said.
"The goal was to try and win them all. The goal was to try and get on the PGA Tour and then from there see what happens. And yeah, I have a lot of opportunities."