By Larry Fine
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Reuters) - Jordan Spieth's bid to win the PGA Championship this week at Quail Hollow and complete a career grand slam has fallen short and the Texan said the major would be the hardest for him to win.
The 24-year-old Spieth began Saturday's third round on three over par, 11 shots off the pace, but failed to close the gap as he posted a level par 71.
"The PGA Championship I think is going to be the toughest for me. If we look historically back on my career, I think I will play this tournament worse than the other three majors just in the way that it's set up," Spieth told reporters.
He put himself in position to supplant Tiger Woods as the youngest player ever to complete a collection of the four major professional titles by winning last month's British Open after his 2015 wins at the Masters and U.S. Open.
"I feel like my game truly suits the other three majors maybe more than a PGA Championship," he said. "But I believe we can play anywhere and can win anywhere. It's just a matter of having everything in sync at the right time."
Spieth did not elaborate on why the PGA should be more difficult for him to win, although it is traditionally set up to showcase lower scores.
Spieth said he turned extra aggressive on Saturday in the hope of making up significant ground when asked if he had still been on a mission to win.
"I was trying to do just that, trying to play aggressive, see how many birdies we could make," Spieth said.
Three bogeys in his first seven holes derailed that dream. Spieth then began to find his putting touch, making two birdies in a row from the eighth and three in a row from the 14th before a double-bogey at the last.
"Obviously, any week you don't have a chance to win you've fallen short of where you would like to be," he said, adding that sometimes there is a silver lining in defeat.
Spieth recalled his experience at June's U.S. Open.
"I was out of it, but I gathered a little something off that Sunday round that led to two wins in two tournaments after that including a major," he said. "Just one round like that can do that. That's what I'm looking to do here."
(Reporting by Larry Fine; Editing by Ken Ferris)