TROON, Scotland — Jordan Spieth is learning what so many athletes already know: After you win a championship — in his case, two championships, the Masters and U.S. Open — people nod their heads and then in so many words ask what you’ve done lately.
Not a great deal other than answer questions he doesn’t particularly like, any more than he didn’t like the way he played the 12th hole the final round of the Masters in April, taking a triple-bogey seven and tossing away the tournament.
On a chilly Saturday along the Firth of Clyde, Spieth shot a one-over par 72 in the third round of the British Open, for a 54-hole total of five-over 218, and complained about perceived negative media for his play this year because he failed to match the standard of 2015, two wins in the first two majors and then a shot out of a playoff in the British Open.
“It’s been tough given I think it’s been a solid year and I think had last year not happened I’d be having a lot of positive questions,” said Spieth. “Instead, most of the questions I get are comparing to last year and, therefore, negative because it’s not to the same standard.
“That’s almost tough to then convince myself I’m having a good year when, even if you (media) guys think it is, the questions I get make me feel like it’s not. I think that’s a bit unfair to me but don’t feel sorry for me. I’ll still be okay. But I would appreciate if people would look at the positives . . . It seems a bit unfair at 22 to be expecting something like that all the time.”
Sergio falls back
When he was 19, Sergio Garcia finished a shot back of winner Tiger Woods in the 1999 PGA Championship at Chicago’s Medinah, and it was believed he would become a multiple major winner as the years passed. But the closest he’s come is the 2007 British Open, when he lost a playoff to Padraig Harington.
Garcia, now 36, has been on the leader board for three rounds of this Open, but Saturday, after getting to a cumulative six-under par through nine holes, he struggled against the wind after making the turn, shot 73 and finished at two-under 211.
Johnson gets derailed on 11th
U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson became yet another victim of the Railway Hole, the 11th, a 482-yard par-4 with tracks of the Glasgow-to-Ayr train along the right side. Johnson hit what he thought was a good drive but the wind knocked it down and the ball ended up in the gorse. After a drop he hit another ball into the gorse, and that forced another drop. He did well to make a triple bogey 7 that cancelled out his three birdies on the front nine. He shot a one-over par 72 for a one-under 212.
“The weather makes it very difficult when you make the turn,” said Johnson. “And today was even difficult on the front nine.”