Spieth Shoots 11 Strokes Better On Back Nine

Jordan Spieth’s up-and-down season was exemplified on Saturday at the Valero Texas Open as the 25-year-old ground out a 1-over par round that included two double bogeys, two bogeys and five birdies.

Playing the first 36-hole at TPC San Antonio in 8-under par, Spieth shot a pair of nine-hole scores that were 11 strokes different than one another.

Beginning the third round in a tie for second place, a 6-over par 42 on the front nine sent Spieth plummeting down the leaderboard, but he wasn’t going to let nine holes derail his final tournament before the Masters, making five birdies en route to a 5-under par 31 on the closing nine holes.

“Just a really rough start. I mean, just a tough nine holes,” Spieth said after the round. “Other than that, on the back nine today was by far the best that I’ve played, the most control I’ve had of the ball and the best I’ve felt putting the ball in a couple years.”

“I actually look at today as progress. I needed the start today to recognize that there [were] things that still needed adjustment and I made those adjustments mid-round and was able to shoot 5 under from what was a 6-over front nine. That shows me that with a few reps, I’m really close to being right where I want to be.”

Spieth enters Sunday’s final round at 7-under par and in a tie for 16th place, eight strokes behind Si Woo Kim who despite a 3-under par round of 69 saw his four-shot 36-hole lead shrink to one shot.