March 31, 2023
Schenk holds on to PGA Valspar lead as Spieth and Fleetwood chase

Schenk holds on to PGA Valspar lead as Spieth and Fleetwood chase

The unheralded Adam Schenk finished with a birdie to gain a one-shot lead over Jordan Spieth and England’s Tommy Fleetwood after Saturday’s third round of the Valspar PGA Tour Championship.

Schenk birdied two of the last three holes in windy conditions to shoot a 1-under par 70 for 8-under overall after 54 holes at Innisbrook’s Copperhead Course in Palm Harbor, Florida.

Chasing his first PGA Tour title in his 165th start, Schenk shot his approach to the last yard and a half, then putted for the lead.

“We didn’t have much going our way until the end. Tough day, but overall very satisfied,” said Schenk. “It was tough. The wind was up, shifting, it was cold at the end. We just stuck to our game plan, kept our heads down.”

Schenk, who is playing for the 10th straight week before becoming a father next month, has a career-best finish of third at the 2021 Shriners Children’s Open, but will be with three-time Grand Slam winner Spieth in the final pairing of the Sunday.

“I just focus on myself,” Schenk said. “I knew the last putt was to get to the final group. Happy to have made it. I’m excited for tomorrow.”

Spieth, the 2015 Valspar champion, and Fleetwood, seeking his first PGA Tour win after 111 starts, each shot 69 to share second place at seven under par with Webb Simpson, the US Open champion from 2012, with his compatriots Cody Gribble and Taylor Moore in six. -low.

“I didn’t have my best stuff in the approach game and the late pitch, but overall, I’m in a good place going into tomorrow,” Spieth said.

“Lots of good guys up there. Tommy’s been in good shape… I still think after it rains tonight it’s going to take more points than the last few days.”

Fleetwood has won six European Tour titles, his most recent victory coming at South Africa’s Nedbank Challenge last November, but he has four second-place finishes without a win on the US circuit.

“We all dream and every time we play, every week we want to win,” Fleetwood said. “I haven’t done it yet. We can start at any time and start accumulating them.”

“Happy to be in contention again… overall happy with where I feel my game is going. Just trying to do everything right tomorrow and see if it’s my time or not.”

Fleetwood had a bunt birdie at the par-5 first and sank another birdie putt at the par-5 14 while making 16 par.

“I started with a good birdie and it was like going on,” said Fleetwood. “Birds were very hard to come by.”

– Spieth’s roller coaster –

Spieth endured a rollercoaster day with five birdies, five bogeys plus an opening eagle.

A closing bogey cost him part of the advantage heading into the final day.

“Events,” Spieth said. “For the number of mistakes I made, it’s nice to shoot a couple under.”

World number 14 Spieth is seeking his 14th PGA Tour title and his first since last April’s Heritage event.

Spieth dropped his second 6-iron eight eight feet from the opening hole and sank the eagle putt to immediately tie the lead.

“Great way to start, especially on a day where you know you’re going to get really windy,” Spieth said.

“The par 5s were great. That’s what you have to do in these kinds of conditions on this golf course.”

He birdied the par-5 fifth, then had four bogey-birdie runs between holes seven and 16.

“I tried to be a little more aggressive with the putter,” Spieth said.


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