Spi­eth surges into lead af­ter ca­reer-best 61

The Washington Post Sunday - - SPORTS - AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Jor­dan Spi­eth’s tee shot on the par-5 17th hole landed in the trees.

Spi­eth’s sec­ond shot landed in the fair­way. His third one landed in the hole. Spi­eth’s de­ci­sion to spurn Scot­land for the John Deere Clas­sic in Sil­vis, Ill., looks more pre­scient with each pass­ing round.

Spi­eth, bol­stered by a 106-yard ea­gle on No. 17, shot a ca­reer-best 10-un­der-par 61 in the third round Satur­day to grab a two-shot lead.

“With some good breaks and re­ally good putting, a round like [Satur­day] comes to­gether,” said Spi­eth, who will go for his third straight ma­jor ti­tle next week at the Bri­tish Open.

Spi­eth was at 17-un­der 196 af­ter the best round of the tour­na­ment since Steve Stricker shot a 60 five years ago. Danny Lee is sec­ond af­ter shoot­ing a 62, fol­lowed by Shawn Ste­fani, Justin Thomas and John­son Wag­ner at 14 un­der.

The round was sus­pended for close to three hours be­cause of two weather-re­lated de­lays.

l EURO­PEAN TOUR: Un­her­alded Daniel Brooks over­came a dread­ful start, an in­jured wrist and the tough­est con­di­tions of the week to keep his un­likely lead at the Scot­tish Open in Gul­lane af­ter a windy third round in which Rickie Fowler surged up the leader board.

The 528th-ranked Brooks, who sur­pris­ingly took a three-shot lead af­ter the sec­ond round, re­cov­ered from a dou­ble bo­gey on his first hole to shoot a 1-un­der 69 for a one-stroke ad­van­tage at 12-un­der 198.

A first prize of nearly $850,000 — easily the big­gest pay­day of his ca­reer— and a spot at next week’s Bri­tish Open at St. An­drews is at stake for Brooks in what would be a life-chang­ing win for the 28year-old Lon­doner. He had missed the cut at 13 straight tour­na­ments be­fore fin­ish­ing tied for 20th at the French Open last Sun­day.

“I have strug­gled all year, and I need some money to keep my card,” Brooks said. “It’s a big day.”

l CHAM­PI­ONS TOUR: Jerry Smith matched a tour­na­ment record with an 8-un­der 64 to take a three-shot lead af­ter the sec­ond round of the En­com­pass Cham­pi­onship in Glen­view, Ill.

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