Saturday, April 04, 2015

 Spieth takes one-shot lead at Houston Open

Texan Jordan Spieth continued his sizzling form by firing a five-under 67 to take a one-shot lead into the final round of the Shell Houston Open.
The 21-year-old, who has already posted five top-seven finishes on the US PGA Tour this year, rolled in birdies at the first and the sixth holes to reach the turn in 34, before firing four more gains on his back nine to move to the top of the leaderboard.

Third Round leaders

-14 Jordan Spieth (USA)
-13 Scott Piercy (USA)
-13 Johnson Wagner (USA)
-13 Austin Cook (USA)
-12 Shawn Stefani (USA)
-11 Kelvin Day (Eng)
-11 Paul Casey (Eng)
-11 Charles Howell III (USA)
-11 Russell Henley (USA)
-10 Patrick Reed (USA)
-10 Keegan Bradley (USA)

Spieth made his first three-putt in 16 tournaments when missing a six-foot par-save at the 13th for his only dropped shot of the round, but responded by holing a monster 40-foot gain at the 16th as he continues to build momentum ahead of next week's Masters.
On his chances at Augusta, Spieth told Sky Sports 4: "I believe I'll be able to handle certain situations better having closed a couple of tournaments out now, I know my tendencies, I know the golf course a little bit better having played a few more rounds on it.
"All in all, I'd just like to hit the ball the way I'm hitting it now, work on my putting out there, work on my speed control and see if I can get in the hunt."
Monday qualifier Austin Cook finished with four successive birdies to card a seven-under 65 to stay one shot off the pace in only his second PGA Tour event, tied-second alongside first-round leader Scott Piercy and Johnson Wagner as the trio look to secure the victory needed to book a late invite to the Masters. 
Cook made a double-bogey at the par-five 15th, where he took a penalty stroke after firing his drive into a hazard, but bounced back with a birdie at the difficult 17th to stay in the hunt
Shawn Stefani's three-under 69 keeps him outright fifth, while Englishman Paul Casey is one of four players a further shot back after posting five birdies in what he admitted was a "tough" third-round 68.

Compatriot Kelvin Day extended his fine week with a blemish-free four-under 68 to also stay within three of the clubhouse lead, joining American duo Charles Howell III and Russell Henley on 11 under.
“I’ve made it look a little easier than it has been,” Day told Sky Sports 4. “I’ve been pretty relaxed all week. I’m not surprised I’m playing well, I’ve been playing well for a long time. I’ve been struggling with my scoring this year but we’ve really started to simplify things this week and my putting’s got a little hot."
Patrick Reed, who is tied for 10th at 10 under, had the shot of the day with a hole-in-one with a five-iron at the 178-yard 16th, celebrating by racing his caddie in a sprint across a bridge!

Overnight leader Andrew Putnam was unable to replicate his second-round birdie blitz on Saturday, making just one gain in a four-over 76 to go level with Phil Mickelson, whose up-and-down form returned after finishing with three bogeys in-a-row. 

Watch the conclusion to the Shell Houston Open live on Sunday from 6pm on Sky Sports 4 - your home of golf.

202 Jordan Spieth (USA) 69 66 67
203 Johnson Wagner (USA) 69 68 66, Scott Piercy 63 74 66, Austin Cook (USA) 68 6570
204 Shawn Steffani (USA) 66 69 69

205 Paul Casey (England) 68 69 68, Kelvin Day 68 69 68 (T6)
209 Justin Rose (England) 68 68 72 (T26)






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