PALM HARBOR (Fla.) Adam SchenkIt looked like he and everyone else would be passed by Jordan SpiethSaturday was the Valspar Championship. Schenk was still the player everyone was after, even after a wild and windy round.
Schenk was able to hit his approach to 18th hole from 5 feet. He made the birdie putt for a 1-under-70, giving him a 1-shot edge over Spieth. Tommy FleetwoodAs he chases his first win on the PGA Tour.
Schenk said, “We didn’t had a ton go in our direction until the very end.”
Fleetwood, who opened with an eagle and followed it up with 12 pars, did not disappoint. He finished with a bogey-free round of 69 and realized that not losing ground was one the best things about the Copperhead course at Innisbrook.
Spieth was however the one who dictated the action.
He shot a 69 and had the decision to make when the round was over if that was a good score due to all his mistakes or a wasted opportunity to separate himself from the rest of the field. Spieth opened with a 6-iron to 7 foot for eagle. He led by as many shots as 2.
He made just three pars in his final 12 holes. On four occasions, he followed up a bogey by a birdie. The 18th hole was the end of his story. He hit a tree while driving, and went into a bunker in front.
Spieth stated, “I didn’t have my best stuff during the approach game but overall I’m in a great spot for tomorrow.”
Schenk was at 8 under 205 and will be playing in the final group alongside Spieth. Spieth appears to be gaining form with the Masters on their horizon.
Schenk will be playing his 10th week consecutively because Courtney, his wife, is due to give birth at the end April. He will also be in the Dominican Republic field next Wednesday, although a win could make all the difference.
It feels far away.
Eight players were within three shots of the lead. Webb SimpsonHe had a 68 which included a par-5 14th bogey when he tried to lay up and hit into the water. He was 2 behind the leader, along with Taylor Moore(69). Cody Gribble(70), who made short birdie putsts on the 16th hole and 17th holes, and narrowly missed a shot at 20 feet in his attempt to birdie all three holes of the Copperhead course’s “Snake Pit”.
Patton KizzireHe had a 67 and was posted early. Not sure where that would lead him. Spieth had a lot of things to do with this and he managed to keep everyone close.
Spieth described his round as “Eventful”
He missed a 5-foot putt on No. 7. He hit a 6-iron at 12 feet for birdie, No. 8. He missed a 7-foot par shot on the 10th. After that, he hit a bunker ball that landed in his collar and bounced out to 3ft for birdie on par-5 11.
Spieth had a three-putt par putt on the 13th and a 3-wood to 35 yards for a two-putt birdie. It was similar throughout the back nine. Spieth seemed content with a 10-foot putt on 13th, but he only managed to hit his tee shot into trees on 17.
Spieth stated that although there were some mistakes, overall, he would have signed for 2 under.
The weather was as wild and unpredictable as his round. It gusted to 20 mph, and it moved in an entirely different direction to the final groups on the back nine. Gribble was forced to hit 5-iron in the late afternoon after players had hit 9-iron into the par-3 17th earlier.
Rain that was not expected never came, even though Innisbrook was anticipating showers overnight that could increase scoring.
Fleetwood was the most steady of the bunch. He made birdie at the par-5 opening and par-5 14th holes, and was able to keep momentum going with a series of big par putts.
Fleetwood said, “I kept plugging along,” “Pars were great. Birdies were difficult to find. The middle stretch, the par saves at 9 and 10, were great putts. I never went backward. I was happy with anything par or higher.”