Spieth and Hend lead by 1 in Colonial, Euro PGA

FORT WORTH (Texas) • Jordan Spieth fired a five-under 65 to seize a one-stroke lead after Saturday's third round of the Colonial tournament in Texas.

The world No. 2 golfer, who defends his US Open title next month at Oakmont, found only four fairways but suffered his only bogey in 29 holes at the 18th to put the 22-year-old American on a 198 total entering the final round at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth.

Ryan Palmer and Webb Simpson shared second on 199 and Harris English, Kyle Reifers and Martin Piller were on 200.

Spieth arrived in Fort Worth after a last-day fade kept him out of the title hunt at the Byron Nelson event in nearby Dallas, his home town.

Add that to his last-nine meltdown to lose the Masters and a missed cut at the Players Championship and it is easy to see how the Texan would love to capture his first PGA win in his home state to build confidence and momentum ahead of the US Open.

"I started having more fun, even when it wasn't going great," he said. "My attitude, even when a shot wasn't going great, was as good as it has been since the Masters."

But Spieth has not broken 70 in the last round since February and has been under par only once in the last round in his past five tries.

"Fairways are going to be key for me to put aggressive swings on my golf shots," he said. "I feel like I'm striking the ball well, just trying to stay consistent. Hopefully a few under in the score we post tomorrow is good enough."

At Wentworth in England, Australia's Scott Hend had the backing of Masters champion Danny Willett in confronting a drunken spectator en route to eagling the last hole for the second day running, to take a one-shot lead into the final round of the European PGA Championship at Wentworth.

Hend, 43, had just a virtual tap-in eagle "three" in a round of 73 for a nine-under 207 tally as he seeks to end a 26-year Australia winless drought at the European Tour's flagship event. The last Australian to win at Wentworth was Mike Harwood in 1990.

Willett, who shared the lead with Hend heading into day three of the €4 million (S$6.1 million) event, went ahead with a birdie at the fifth but stumbled with five bogeys over the last 10 holes in an eventual 76 for a five-way share of fifth place at 210.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 30, 2016, with the headline 'Spieth and Hend lead by 1 in Colonial, Euro PGA'. Print Edition | Subscribe