Jordan Spieth believes he faces a massive task just to complete a career grand slam after seeing his chance to become the youngest to do so disappear at Quail Hollow.
Spieth needs to win the US PGA Championship to join Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods in having won all four majors.
Victory this week would have seen him surpass Woods as the youngest member of that exclusive club, but a third round of 71 on Saturday left the Open champion 12 shots off the pace as the leaders started the back nine.
“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,” Spieth 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.
“The PGA Championship I think is going to be the toughest for me. 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.
“I feel like my game truly suits the other three majors maybe more than a PGA Championship. 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.”
After dropping three shots in the first seven holes of round three, Spieth birdied five of the next nine holes to raise the faint prospect of getting back into contention, only to double-bogey the 18th.
“Obviously any week you don’t have a chance to win, you’ve fallen short of where you would like to be,” Spieth added. “Disappointing would have been going home after two days and I think I saw some highlights today.
“Like Michael (Greller, his caddie) was saying, we could break the season into quarters.
“This is the start of the fourth quarter. At the US Open on Sunday I was out of it, but I gathered a little something off that Sunday round that led to two wins in two tournaments after that, including a major.
“Just one round like that can do that. That’s what I’m looking to do here.
“My goal was to try to work our way into a back-door top 10. The last kind of stinks because it sets me back there – 18 is just a ridiculously hard hole today.”