CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Jordan Spieth all but conceded that his pursuit of the career Grand Slam will have to wait until next year.
So he’s approaching the final two rounds of the PGA Championship like he has nothing to lose.
Spieth shot 2-over 73 on Friday to move to 3-over for the tournament, but slipped 11 strokes behind the co-leaders when the second round was suspended due to darkness with some two dozen players still on the course.
“I kind of accept the fact that I’m essentially out of this tournament, pending some form of crazy stuff the next couple of days,” Spieth said. “But I’m sure going to give it a try.”
Closer to the projected cut line of 5-over than to co-leaders Kevin Kisner and Hideki Matsuyama, Spieth joked that it would take a round of “probably 54” to get back in it before adding that he just wants to score “as low as I can go.”
Three weeks after a late surge helped him win the British Open and claim the third leg of the career Grand Slam, the 24-year-old was trying to become the youngest player to have won all four major championships.
After ending the first round five strokes off the lead, Spieth acknowledged he needed to close the gap during Round 2 to give himself a chance.
Instead, it more than doubled.
A day after Spieth didn’t make a putt longer than 5 feet on the new greens at Quail Hollow, he made only two from 10 feet or longer – a 10-footer for par on No. 7, and a 12-footer on the 12th for his only birdie of the round.
“Things were in just such tough locations that it was hard to get the ball to feed to the hole,” Spieth said. “So it’s a tough track where they’re putting these flagsticks. It makes it tough to score. … Just really didn’t get many looks today, so with one birdie, it’s going to be hard to post a solid round.”
With the tricky greens softer and slower after a 1-hour, 45-minute rain delay, Spieth missed birdie putts of between 10 and 40 feet on three consecutive holes, Nos. 15-17.
Unless he comes up with a colossal rally, Tiger Woods will remain the youngest player to complete the career Grand Slam. When Spieth tees it up next year at Bellerive, he will be about six months older than Woods was when he polished off his slam at the 2000 British Open.
“On to the weekend, to try to fire at stuff,” Spieth said. “Nothing to lose.”