Jordan Spieth cannot believe he just hit the flagstick, tumbles down Players Championship leaderboard

Kevin C. Cox

Martin Kaymer is starting to pull away from Jordan Spieth at TPC Sawgrass.

Jordan Spieth is hitting a rough patch on Sunday again, relinquishing a front-nine lead and falling behind his playing partner by multiple shots as he makes the turn at The Players Championship. Spieth overtook sole possession of the lead with a smooth little birdie putt on the fourth hole at TPC Sawgrass, but he's leaked some oil since that early stretch.

The 20-year-old is trying to become the youngest ever, by almost three years over Adam Scott in 2004, to win The Players. This comes just a month after he made that run to become the youngest ever to win the Masters. On that Sunday, he jumped ahead of Bubba Watson early on the front nine. Their positions changed dramatically, however, at the eighth and ninth holes at Augusta, a four-shot swing dropping Spieth into second, and Bubba would never look back.

On this Sunday, Spieth finally had that remarkable bogey streak end on the fifth hole. He went the first 58 holes this week without giving a shot back to par, and hadn't made a bogey since the final round of the RBC Heritage. A couple stats on that streak, made all the more amazing coming at a Stadium Course layout with water everywhere.

Pete Dye's course punishes inaccuracy more than most setups on the modern PGA Tour, and Spieth spent Saturday barely hanging on to keep the streak alive. His chipping and putting up around the green often kept it going, but he's been unable to hold it together on Sunday.

Following the bogey at the fifth, Spieth would drop shots again at Nos. 8 and 10. The bogey at the 10th, however, was the result of a brutal break as Spieth's ball appeared to hit the flagstick and caromed off the green.

Shotspieth_medium

As soon as the Texan saw it go bouncing away and not stick right on top of the cup, he reacted as if he'd just heard about the Longhorns' shutout at the NFL Draft.

Spiethohh_medium

While Spieth is making some loose shots and getting a few bad breaks, Kaymer is turning the screws and finding his form to increase his lead to three shots. Unless he starts dumping them in the water, the German should be on track for the most lucrative win of his career. Here's a snapshot of the top of the leaderboard with the final pairing on the back nine:

Place

Player

Score

Thru

1

Martin Kaymer

-14

10

T2

Jim Furyk

-11

14

T2

Francesco Molinari

-11

13

T2

Jordan Spieth

-11

10

T5

Justin Rose

-10

F

T5

Lee Westwood

-10

14

T5

Sergio Garcia

-10

11

T8

Jimmy Walker

-9

F

T8

Rory McIlroy

-9

F

T8

David Hearn

-9

14

T11

Brian Davis

-8

F

T11

John Senden

-8

11

T13

K.J. Choi

-7

F

T13

Chris Kirk

-7

F

T13

Steve Stricker

-7

F

T13

Gary Woodland

-7

13

T13

George McNeill

-7

12

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