SILVIS, Ill. – Jordan Spieth, bolstered by a 106-yard eagle on the par-5 17th hole, shot a career-best 10-under 61 in the third round Saturday to grab a two-shot lead at the John Deere Classic.
"With some good breaks and really good putting, a round like [Saturday] comes together," said Spieth, who will go for his third straight major title this week at the British Open.
Spieth was at 17-under 196 after the best round of the tournament since Steve Stricker shot a 60 five years ago. Danny Lee is second after shooting a 62, followed by Shawn Stefani, Justin Thomas and Johnson Wagner at 14 under.
The round was suspended for close to three hours because of two weather-related delays.
The rain made the course even softer than usual, setting the stage for the low scores.
No one took advantage of the favorable conditions more than Spieth, who has done his best to answer the critics who felt he would be better off prepping for the Open Championship in Scotland compared to Illinois.
Spieth got off to a fast start on No. 2, sticking a 260-yard approach within three feet for an eagle.
His approach on the par-4 eighth hole came so close to going in that it left a divot on the cup before spinning 10 feet forward. Spieth then converted the birdie putt.
Spieth made three more birdies on par 4s, and he hit a 12-footer on No. 16 to join Lee in first. But it was the next hole that really made Spieth's day.
After hitting his tee shot into the trees, he escaped further trouble by putting his second shot in the fairway. He then stuck his approach with a sand wedge directly behind the cup, where it spun in to the disbelief of even Spieth — who said he "mishit it."
"I certainly didn't think it had a chance to go in. I thought it was going past the hole," Spieth said.
But as if to prove it wasn't a fluke, Spieth sent his final tee shot of the round into the trees as well — and still picked up a birdie.
"I had a fist pump on the last shot because walking up after the second shot I said to [caddie] Mike [Greller], 'I just saw the board and I think this is for my lowest round that I've shot on the PGA Tour,' " Spieth said.