Tuesday, July 27, 2021

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Jordan Spieth, Matt Wallace lead by two at Valero Texas Open

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Jordan Spieth shot a 5-under 67 on Saturday to move into a tie for the lead heading into the final round of the Valero Texas Open.

Spieth and Englishman Matt Wallace are at 12 under after each player birdied their final two holes of the day. Wallace also posted a 67, and Charley Hoffman is alone in third at 10 under after shooting a 65.


RELATED: Full leaderboard


Hoffman was seven shots back after a bogey at No. 4, but he finished up with six birdies and sank a five-foot eagle putt at the 14th. He won here five years ago.

Three consecutive bogeys early on the back nine sent second-round leader Cameron Tringale to a 1-over 73 that put him at 8 under for the tournament. India’s Anirban Lahiri is at 7 under after a 69.

Tom Hoge finished with five birdies and moved up 26 spots on the leaderboard with a third-round 66. He is in a group of four players at 6 under that includes Lucas Glover (70), Gary Woodland (67) and Matt Kuchar (70).

The start of play was delayed for more than two hours by rain.

Time has just about run out on Rickie Fowler’s chances to make his 11th straight Masters appearance next week. He has to win to get in, but his 69 Saturday has him in 21st place and nine shots out of the lead.

With four birdies in an eight-hole stretch, Spieth was tied with Wallace and Hoffman for the lead heading to the 308-yard 17th. Spieth sailed his tee shot about 50 yards off line, right of the green, still just about pin high. His ball had rolled several yards down a concrete cart path and settled onto a gravel maintenance path.

Wallace nailed his tee shot to the fringe of the green. Spieth got free relief with a drop off the gravel. From about 52 yards, Spieth opened the face of his wedge and sailed it upward, a nifty recovery shot that trickled the ball to about three feet from the cup.

With his chip and short putt, Wallace also birdied 17. Wallace and Spieth reached the 18th in two and each birdied again.

Spieth, winless since his 2017 Open Championship title, has been knocking on the door the past two months. He led heading into the final round at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. He shared the lead with 18 to go at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and he led at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard with 11 holes to go.

Wallace was a stroke back of Tringale entering the day and took the lead after opening with two birdies. He bogeyed No. 11 but came in with four birdies after that.

The 2016 Valero Texas Open is one of four wins on the PGA TOUR for Hoffman. He also was runner-up here in 2019 and 2011, and finished third in 2013.

Hoffman bogeyed his fourth hole Saturday and was seven back. But he birdied 6 and 8 with putts inside eight feet, and put away a 17-footer for birdie at the 12th.

His putter stayed hot at 16 and 17 – both of those birdies came from past 13 feet.

He finished it off with a 340-yard drive on 18, reached the par-5 in two from 260 yards out and left his 40-foot uphill eagle putt just a couple of feet short for an easy birdie.

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