Jordan Spieth said TPC Deere Run can be ‘one of the easiest ones we play,’ then went out and fired a 63

There’s certainly a soft spot in Jordan Spieth’s heart for TPC Deere Run, the site of the Texan’s first PGA Tour win back in 2013. Two years later, Spieth won a second John Deere Classic.

And with that track record of success in Silvis, Illinois, it’s not surprising Spieth would consider the course one for the taking, a thought he backed up after shooting a 67 on Friday.

“It’s one of the probably bottom-half easier golf courses. It’s a great golf course. When it’s soft it’s one of the easiest ones we play,” Spieth said after his second round. “Yeah, I can make a move, but everyone is going to make a move. So I will try and beat the field average by four or five shots, but that is going to take shooting 8- or 9-under.

“So it’s not like it’s a walk in the park. You still have to hit nice shots.”

During Saturday’s third round, Spieth did exactly what he said he’d need to do, using a white-hot front nine to fire a 63 and get back into the tournament after 54 holes. Spieth sits at 14 under and while he’s not at the top of the leaderboard, he can see it from where he’s sitting. It marked his best round of the 2024 PGA Tour season.

After a birdie on the par-5 second, Spieth made five consecutive birdies on Nos. 4-8 and made the turn with a 6-under 29. Thanks to two more circles on 10 and 12, Spieth was officially put on 59 watch. But, a bogey on the 13th halted his momentum and he’d go on to play his final five holes at 1 under to cement his 8-under 63.

John Deere Classic: Photos | Leaderboard

“I would like to just improve on my back nine score tomorrow from today’s,” Spieth told the media after signing his card. “You know, so that’s certainly something as I make the turn regardless what I do on the front I’ll be sitting there going, man, I want to shoot the 4-under I felt like I should have shot yesterday.”

His previous nine starts coming into this week have been a struggle. Spieth missed three cuts and finished inside the top 40 just three times. But, he’s always loved links golf and he heads across the pond after the John Deere for the Scottish Open and The Open. If he’s found something in his game, he might be a good bet at The Renaissance Club and Royal Liverpool.

The charge pushed him up 46 spots and for a brief spell into a tie for the lead before the bogey on 13. When asked about having a lull on the back nine, Spieth insisted it was just a two-hole stretch.

“So really the lull was just those two holes, right? If I par there and birdie 14 from the position I was in I shoot 32 on the back and a 61. So anything is probably going to be a lull from a 29,” he said. “It was just those two that I wish I played over, but 14 just — both have to do with how soft the greens are. They made the shots somehow harder because the greens are softer from where I was.

“It’s a great golf course. The only downfall sometimes here is sometimes you hit some nice shots that just — someone can hit from a harder position and is end up being in a better spot. That’s golf. That kind of happens everywhere.”

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek