OAKMONT, Pa. – Jordan Spieth knows that if he's going to have any chance at defending his U.S. Open championship, he'll need to do something extraordinarily special Sunday.
That's exactly what Johnny Miller did in 1973 at Oakmont Country Club, when he shot a final-round 63 to win the U.S. Open – a round that Golf Magazine has voted as the best ever.
"Come out tomorrow and try and pull a Johnny Miller," Spieth said after finishing Saturday's third round.
It will likely take even more for Spieth to complete a most unlikely rally. He began the final round 11 shots off Shane Lowry's lead of 7-under. Even if Spieth were to shoot 63 and get to 3-under, he'd need Lowry to shoot at least 75, and the rest of the field to collapse, as well.
During Miller's famous round, he made just one bogey – and lipped out a putt on the 18th green that would have given him a 62. Spieth looked like he might challenge that 63 during Saturday's third round when he ran off three consecutive birdies starting on the 11th hole (he started his round on the back nine).
However, he hit a bad wedge shot on the next hole, leading to a bogey that stunted momentum.
"Just kind of boned a wedge," he said. "I played three holes at 4-over today with a wedge in my hand from the middle of the fairway. It's just kind of a bummer. You're not going to be able to do anything at a U.S. Open if you get the wedge opportunities and you play them over par."