Sunday, March 26, 2017

Spieth hikes Pebble Beach lead to 6 with 65

On a day when celebrities traditionally dominate the TV broadcast, Jordan Spieth quietly put a death grip on the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in Round 3, taking a six-shot lead with his second straight 65. Here’s how things stand going into the final round on the Monterey Peninsula:

Leaderboard: Spieth (-17), Brandt Snedeker (-11), Dustin Johnson (-10), Rob Oppenheim (-9), Kelly Kraft (-9)

What it means: Spieth is looking for his first win of the season after finishes of T-6, 3, T-3 and T-9 in his first four starts. Spieth won the Emirates Australian Open last November, but he hasn’t won on the PGA Tour since the Dean & DeLuca Invitational last May. He has fallen to No. 6 in the world, behind Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Dustin Johnson and Hideki Matsuyama.

Round of the day: One of five players to shoot 65 on Saturday, Spieth birdied the first two holes of each nine, adding another birdie and a bogey on the front and five birds on the back, including a tap-in on the 18th. He one-putted 13 greens.

Best of the rest: Luke Donald, Scott Stallings, Henrik Norlander and Sung Kang joined Spieth with 65s. Donald played at Spyglass Hill, while the other three played at Monterey Peninsula. Of the four, Stallings is the closest to the lead, and he is nine shots back.

Biggest disappointment: Jason Day. After starting 69-64 to tie for the 36-hole lead, the world No. 1 put up a 75 – and it could have been much worse, as he birdied three of his last four holes. Starting his round at No. 10, Day played his first nine holes in 41, with four bogeys and a double.

Shot of the day: Justin Timberlake’s near hole-in-one at the seventh.

Main storyline heading into Sunday: As noted earlier, Spieth hasn’t won a Tour event since last May.There are two players with fine pedigrees – Brandt Snedeker and Dustin Johnson – right behind him, but a player of his caliber should not blow a six-shot lead.

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