HP Nelson diary: Jordan Spieth

IRVING, Texas -- Jordan Spieth stumbled a bit in the third round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship with a 2-over 72, but the 17-year-old remains in contention. He is tied for eighth place at 1 under going into Sunday's final round. The only downer: Spieth didn't have time to attend his high school graduation ceremony Saturday afternoon.

Q: A 72 is your highest score so far, but what are your thoughts on the day?

JS: I'm happy right now. Finishing birdie-par on the last two holes, I'm happy with that.

Standing over that 10-foot putt for birdie on 17, I told Kramer [caddy Kramer Hickok] with all those people around the green, if I make it, it might be the loudest roar I've ever heard. When it went in, if it wasn't the loudest, it was pretty close.

Q: With the wind, the conditions had to be difficult, today, right?

JS: Oh my gosh. On the range hitting into a 30 mph wind, my instructor and I just laughed. I was thinking just making pars would be an awesome day. But then I birdied the first two holes and walking down three I was thinking 'Who says you can't shoot 5 or 6 under today?' Then reality kind of kicked in.

Q: You had double-bogeys on Nos. 4 and 11. What happened?

JS: I got some back breaks and I made it worse with some amateur decisions. The ball runs to the lips in fairway bunkers out here, forcing a punch-out. That's what happened at 4. On 11, we had a long wait on the tee and I saw a couple of guys go over the street to the right. I don't know what happened on my shot. It was like I was taking a practice swing and accidentally hit it in water. I really only made about four bad swings today, but they cost me between four and seven shots.

Q: How do you recover so quickly from a bad hole?

JS: When I get angry, I get focused. That's when I putt the best. That's kind of the way I play.

Q: You're No. 1 in putting this week. Thoughts?

JS: My putter is keeping me in this. Maybe one of these rounds I'll find a way not to make bogeys.

Q: When was the decision made to bypass graduation?

JS: Last night. There wasn't going to be enough time. I'd talked with people at the school and they understood.

Q: How did you spend Friday night?

JS: I went to Plano and had dinner with a friend. I took it easy last night at the hotel here and plan to do the same tonight.

Q: In your warm-up, I noticed you had an earphone. Music?

JS: Yep. I was listening to Texas country, getting ready.

Q: You were steered to the CBS television tower for an interview today after your round. How was that?

JS: Yeah, with Sir Nick Faldo and Jim Nantz. I wasn't nervous today. They make it easy. I think I might have said one thing wrong. I didn't remember I was tied for seventh going into the final round last year. I thought I was further back.

Q: What is your plan for the final round on Sunday?

JS: I'd like to come out just the way I did today, making birdies.

Randy Jennings covers golf for ESPNDallas.com.