News & ToursAugust 14, 2015

Jordan Spieth is in contention at the PGA Championship. And he's not even playing that well.

HAVEN, Wis. -- As the sun heads towards the horizon at Whistling Straits, the name Jordan Spieth remains near the top of the leader board. In itself, this is not surprising.

That Spieth is there despite finding spots of the course Pete Dye didn't know existed is staggering. Or, if you're a tour colleague of Speith's, heartbreaking.

"I'm not pleased with the way I'm driving the ball at all," said Spieth after his Friday round at the PGA Championship. "I'm hitting some quick draws when I'm playing a normal shot, which is weird. I haven't had that really this whole year."

Related: Jordan Spieth's three keys to red-hot scoring

You would think these comments came after a 75. Instead, Spieth recorded six birdies on the day, finishing with a five-under 67. At six under for the tournament, only David Lingmerth has a better score in the clubhouse.

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Spieth was boosted by a chip-in birdie on the 18th, his ninth hole of the day. The par 4, measuring 520 yards, has been the hardest scoring hole in the tournament.

Related: Watch Jordan Spieth hole a ridiculous bunker shot at Whistling Straits

But this shot wasn't an aberration. It was his second straight round with a hole-out from off the green, and Friday's marked Spieth's 16th chip-in of the season.

"The fact that they go in versus settling close to the hole is a bit of luck, and I'll take it," Speith said in deferring fashion.

What hasn't been of fortune is his putter. Although his iron game -- arguably unparalleled on tour -- has been on-point, the flatstick has not, leaving multiple good looks short of the hole. An oddity, given Spieth entered the PGA Championship leading the tour in putting.

"Right at the end of the round, No. 8 and 9 were both in the middle of the hole," Spieth said of his work on the greens. "I thought I hit them with enough speed, and they just didn't get there. I was kicking myself for not giving it a little extra go."

You'll excuse Spieth if he's exasperated. It has to nag him, knowing he's at this position -- near the lead of the PGA Championship, a victory that would rank him among Tiger Woods and Ben Hogan as the only players to win three majors in a season -- without his best. Thinking what he could be capable of once he gets going.

"It's a very rare scenario for me, but [the hook] isn't major," remarked Spieth. "Ideally, I like to play a straight ball flight, a slight draw. So it's not far off where it needs to be.

"I'll go fix it by a few balls on the range, getting back to better posture, better alignment. Just the basics to get it back in shape."

"Back in shape." Given his results thus far, Whistling Straits, and the field, might not be able to combat such a foe.

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