Rolex Series

Jordan Spieth targets Genesis Scottish Open title as perfect preparation for The Open

Jordan Spieth said winning the 2022 Genesis Scottish Open would the perfect preparation for next week’s Open Championship as he surged into contention after Saturday’s third round at the Rolex Series event.

Jordan Spieth-1407676736

The three-time Major Champion made two eagles in the space of six holes on the back nine as he shot a brilliant 66 at The Renaissance Club in East Lothian to sit three shots off the lead held by Xander Schauffele.

Spieth began the day at level par, seven shots adrift of overnight leader Cameron Tringale, but will head into the final round full of confidence after demonstrating his proficiency at links golf once again.

“My goal was to have a chance on Sunday. It always is the week before a Major. There’s no better prep for a Major than winning the week before,” said Spieth, who is making his debut in the tournament which is co-sanctioned for the first time by the DP World Tour and PGA TOUR.

“Having said that, being in contention gets as much prep done as possible, so I’m glad to be in the position I’m in.

“I think links golf is arguably my favourite kind of golf and I don’t know of any country that has more fantastic links courses than Scotland, obviously being the Home of Golf.”

Spieth, who won The Open at Royal Birkdale in 2017, mixed two birdies with a bogey to hit the turn in 34, before his first eagle of the day came at the par-five tenth as he tapped in from short range.

After dropping his second shot of the day at the 11th, Spieth holed his approach shot at the par-four 15th to get to four under, which is where he finished the day after parring his last three holes.

“It looked good from the air and certainly a bit lucky for it to go in,” said Spieth of his hole-out eagle.

“I’ve had my fair share of breaks on hole-outs over the years but the ones that go in with the right speed are the ones that I walk away even happier with.

“I was thinking I might be out of the tournament without a fantastic Saturday and a 66 round here in this breeze is definitely that.”

Jordan Smith is another player three shots off the lead after he continued his excellent week with his third sub-70 round of the event.

The Englishman, who played alongside Schuaffele, mixed four birdies with three bogeys as the one-time DP World Tour winner boosted his bid for victory.

“You just have to stay patient and take breaks as they come,” he reflected. “You're going to get bad bounces.

“I hope I have the same attitude tomorrow, just go out there and feel relaxed and just hang in there. I'm pretty sure it's going to be windy again, so just hang in there and enjoy the day, and enjoy the sun.”

Jordan Smith-1407706076

Smith, who will make his second appearance at The Open next week, won himself and his caddie a Genesis car with an ace at the par-three 17th and he nearly repeated the feat on Saturday, leaving a tap-in for his fourth birdie of the day.

“I had this thought, oh, it would be amazing if it went in again. It was a bit ridiculous,” he said.

“But I hit the shot and hit it exactly how we saw it, and then obviously the crowd were getting louder. I was like, it can't be, it can't be, and obviously got there and it was sort of a foot and a half away.”

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