Jordan Spieth has vowed to embrace the pressure of becoming just the second man in history to win the first three majors of the year after putting himself on the edge of glory at St Andrews.
Spieth fired a silky six-under-par 66 in the third round, coming home with a flourish on the back nine to finish at 11 under, just one shot adrift of the lead.
The 21-year-old American, who obliterated the field at the Masters and then ground out a win at the US Open, will start the final round on Monday chasing down Australian Jason Day, 2010 St Andrews champion Louis Oosthuizen and Irish upstart amateur Paul Dunne.
And while some might feel the crippling pressure of trying to become just the second man behind Ben Hogan in 1953 to win the first three majors of the year, the Texan cannot wait.
“No player has ever won all four majors in the same year as Hogan missed the PGA Championship in ’53 due to scheduling.
“It hasn’t come up in my head while I’ve been playing yet, if I have a chance coming down the stretch, if it creeps in, I’ll embrace it. I’ll embrace the opportunity that presents itself,” Spieth said of grand slam thoughts.
“As far as handling it, I don’t look at it as a negative thing, I look at it almost as an advantage.
“Why should it add more pressure in a negative way? If it adds more pressure, it just makes me feel like this is something that’s a little more special, let’s go ahead and get the job done.”
Spieth said he’d like the opportunity to have a go at something that had never been done before in the sport.
“That’s just going to go into my fight tomorrow,” he said.
“I do recognise what’s at stake, and for me to accomplish that feat is going to be to simplify things and to just go about our business”.
Spieth has nine of his 11 major rounds under par this year and knows it will take another one to get it done at a wet Old Course at St Andrews.
“There will be some people shooting low scores in the morning it looks like and then guys that have to make birdies in the afternoon to keep it going,” he said.
“For me, my mind is strictly and solely on setting a goal for tomorrow and putting the right mental approach to our round, setting the right expectations given the conditions, and see if we can just go get the job done again.
“At this point it’s free rolling. I’m going to play to win, and I’m not playing for a place.”