Spieth expects to peak in final round

World number one Jordan Spieth of the US tees off on the third day of the Australian Open golf tournament at the Australian Golf Club in Sydney on Nov 28, 2015.
World number one Jordan Spieth of the US tees off on the third day of the Australian Open golf tournament at the Australian Golf Club in Sydney on Nov 28, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

SYDNEY • World No. 1 Jordan Spieth said he is hoping to hit his peak during his final round shoot-out with home favourite Matt Jones at the Australian Open today as he looks to retain a title for the first time in his career.

The 22-year-old American's eagle-birdie finish to the third round ensured he would go head-to-head with Jones in the final group to tee off at the Australian Golf Club.

The US Open and Masters champion will start the day three shots behind the Australian, but thinks he might be able to find another gear for the final 18 holes.

"We've been working on some things," he said after putting together a four-under 67 round to move to 206 for the tournament.

"They've just gotten a little bit easier day to day and my putting's been slightly better today, and so I do believe I have yet to peak. I don't know if it will be good enough, but I think that I'll peak tomorrow."

Spieth thought yesterday's round was also one of the "best fought" of his professional career after he started the day with three bogeys in the first four holes.

Jones putted in off the green at the 17th hole for a birdie and also birdied the last hole in a second straight score of 68.

For the Sydney native, today's final round at a club where he has been a member for 20 years offers a chance to have his name etched on the Stonehaven Cup along with some of golf's greatest players.

"It would be fantastic," said the 35-year-old. "I watched (Greg) Norman win it and (Adam) Scott win it. I've been close before and tomorrow I'm going to do all I can to put my name on the trophy alongside (Jack) Nicklaus and Norman and those guys."

REUTERS

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 29, 2015, with the headline 'Spieth expects to peak in final round'. Print Edition | Subscribe