Saturday, January 20, 2018
Golf

Jordan Spieth leads Pebble Beach Pro-Am

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — 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 7-under 65 to open up a six-shot lead going in the final round of the Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Starting out the weather-delayed third round tied with Jason Day and Derek Fathauer — Round 2 had to be finished Saturday after two days of weather delays — Spieth never gave anyone 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 6-foot 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 30 on the front nine — he started on No. 10 — for 67 to pull within two shots when he finished. Spieth was up the hill on the 14th, doing what Spieth does — a 6-foot par save.

"Those putts scare me," Spieth said after making a downhill 3-footer for par on No. 4.

But he made them all, except for the 8-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, ended the day in second at 11-under 204.

"The front nine will be huge," he said. "I've got to go out there and make some birdies and put some pressure on (Spieth)."

Dustin Johnson spent three days with Spieth and couldn't keep up, at least not on the greens. Last year's 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 66. He was seven shots behind.

Champions: Fred Couples birdied the final two holes to pull within a stroke of the leaders in the Allianz Championship at Boca Raton. Couples shot 7-under 65 to reach 11-under 133 on the Old Course at Broken Sound. Doug Garwood (64), Joe Durant (65), Scott McCarron (66) and first-round leader Olin Browne (69) shared the top spot, all birdieing the par-5 18th. Garwood shot 64, Durant 65, McCarron 66, and Browne 69. Tom Pernice Jr. had 64 to match Couples at 11 under.

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