Spi­eth’s 65 puts him in front by six shots

The Washington Post Sunday - - BASEBALL - ASSOCIATED PRESS

Jor­dan Spi­eth had a per­for­mance that matched the mag­nif­i­cent views — fi­nally — at Pebble Beach on Satur­day.

Spi­eth took only 10 putts on the back nine, closed with a pitch that checked up inches from the cup for an­other birdie and shot a 7-un­der-par 65 to open up a six-stroke lead go­ing into the fi­nal round of the Pebble Beach (Calif.) Pro-Am.

Start­ing out the third round of the weather-de­layed event tied with Ja­son Day and Derek Fathauer, Spi­eth never gave any­one else a chance.

Fol­low­ing his only bo­gey of the round — a 7-iron over the cliffs on No. 8 that nar­rowly stayed up in the rough above the putting sur­face — he ran off three straight birdies, made a tough, curl­ing six­foot par putt on the 12th, and then closed with three birdies and an­other tough par save on his last four holes.

He was at 17-un­der 197 and had his largest 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour.

Brandt Snedeker did his part with a 30 on the front nine — he started on No. 10 — for a 67 to pull within two strokes when he fin­ished. Spi­eth was up the hill on the 14th, do­ing what Spi­eth does — a six-foot par save.

“Those putts scare me,” Spi­eth said af­ter making a down­hill three-footer for par on No. 4.

But he made them all ex­cept for the eight-foot par putt on No. 8 that he missed im­me­di­ately, paus­ing when a heel print nearly kicked the ball left and into the cup.

Snedeker, try­ing to win at Pebble Beach for the third time in five years, was at 11-un­der 204 and will be in the fi­nal group with Spi­eth, along with their ama­teur part­ners. Spi­eth is play­ing with coun­try singer Jake Owen, while Snedeker’s part­ner is Nashville busi­ness­man Toby Wilt.

Dustin John­son spent three days with Spi­eth and couldn’t keep up, at least not on the greens. The U.S. Open cham­pion made three birdies over his last six holes and saved par from a shot into the Pa­cific Ocean on No. 18 for a 66. He was seven shots be­hind.

There were ques­tions as to whether John­son’s sec­ond shot cleared the haz­ard along the ocean wall. A tele­vi­sion re­play was not en­tirely con­clu­sive.

CHAM­PI­ONS TOUR: Fred Cou­ples birdied the fi­nal two holes to pull within a stroke of the lead­ers in the Al­lianz Cham­pi­onship in Boca Raton, Fla.

Cou­ples, 57, shot a 7-un­der 65 to reach 11-un­der 133 on The Old Course at Bro­ken Sound.

Doug Gar­wood, Joe Du­rant, Scott McCar­ron and first-round leader Olin Browne shared the top spot, all birdieing the par-5 18th. Gar­wood shot a 64, Du­rant a 65, McCar­ron a 66 and Browne a 69. Tom Per­nice Jr. had a 64 to match Cou­ples at 11 un­der.

Cou­ples is play­ing in Florida for the first time since the 2006 Honda Clas­sic.

Bern­hard Langer was tied for 54th af­ter a sec­ond straight 71. The Ger­man star, 59, is com­ing off a win in the sea­son opener in Hawaii.

De­fend­ing cham­pion Este­ban Toledo was at 8 un­der af­ter a 67.

EURO­PEAN TOUR: Mas­ters cham­pion Danny Wil­lett shot a 5-un­der 67 at the May­bank Cham­pi­onship in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to fin­ish the day three strokes ahead of Amer­i­can David Lip­sky head­ing into Sun­day’s fi­nal round.

Wil­lett had a 16-un­der to­tal of 200 af­ter 54 holes in the tour­na­ment co-sanc­tioned by the Euro­pean and Asian tours. The 28year-old Lip­sky, who shot a 68, is look­ing for a first ti­tle since 2014.

Wil­lett, a 29-year-old from Eng­land, has not won a tour­na­ment since the 2016 Mas­ters and has only three top-10 fin­ishes since his vic­tory at Au­gusta.


Jor­dan Spi­eth is sit­ting pretty at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

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