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Spieth skips putting practice for lunch, makes 1 birdie in Rd. 3

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Jordan Spieth struggled on the greens during the third round of the U.S. Open, and part of his issues may have stemmed from the dining room.

Spieth was nowhere to be found before his 12:22 p.m. PT starting time at Pebble Beach, showing up to the putting green behind the first tee just minutes before he stepped to the tee box alongside Nate Lashley. That absence wasn’t a scramble as much as it was a conscious choice by Spieth to shake things up, one that he admitted may have backfired.

“I didn’t give myself enough time to go through my normal routine today,” Spieth said. “I did a little early session and then from there I went in and ate lunch instead of putting, and it didn’t pay off today.”

U.S. Open: Full-field scores | Full coverage

Spieth was a longshot to contend after opening with rounds of 72-69, but any thoughts of adding another U.S. Open title to the one he snagged at Chambers Bay four years ago flew out the window with a third-round 73, where he was stuck in neutral. Spieth opened his round with 10 straight pars, made double bogey on No. 11 and didn’t make a single birdie until rolling in a 5-footer on the final green.

“My speed control just wasn’t as good as the last couple days, and that was simply it,” Spieth said. “If I see one of them go in early, on No. 3 or 4, I probably make five or six of them. It’s just, the hole started to look smaller and smaller every hole that they didn’t go in.”

The sluggish round dropped Spieth to 1 over for the week, and he’ll begin the final round in a tie for 33rd, 12 shots behind Gary Woodland. While he may look to budget his time a little differently before hitting the course Sunday afternoon, he did find a silver lining from an otherwise frustrating situation that stemmed from a late lunch.

“I wasn’t hungry out there,” he said. “So that’s the good news.”