Mon, Jan 25, 2016 - Page 19 News List

Jordan Spieth among drama amid Abu Dhabi delays

AP, ABU DHABI

Jordan Spieth, center, and Pablo Larrazabal shake hands during the Abu Dhabi Championship on Saturday.

Photo: Reuters

Jordan Spieth has experienced some drama on the ninth tee at the Abu Dhabi Championship this week.

It was there where he received a warning for slow play on Thursday. The following day, he hooked a drive into the backside of a spectator walking alongside the edge of a large lake.

On Saturday, he was shouting “Woohoo” and high-fiving his caddie after blasting away his tee shot to beat the horn that sounded at the top of his backswing, announcing a suspension in play. It was Spieth’s 18th hole and meant he was able to complete his third round — unlike most others in the field — and avoid an early morning return to Abu Dhabi Golf Club to finish up.

“We were very relieved,” Spieth said. “It saved us about five-plus hours in arriving at the course tomorrow. I’m just fortunate my ball just got in the air.”

The fun and games did not end on the tee box for the world’s top-ranked player.

He played the hole in a six-ball, with Spieth and playing partners Soren Kjeldsen and Pablo Larrazabal joining the trio ahead of them on the green — Eddie Pepperell, Tyrrell Hatton and Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

Spieth parred the hole for a four-under 68, which left him three shots off the lead held by Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Branden Grace, Joost Luiten and Ian Poulter on 10-under, though that had changed with the early start yesterday.

Fowler birdied three of the remaining seven holes in his third round yesterday to break free of the congested leading group and take a two-shot lead.

Fowler shot a seven-under 65 to move to 13-under-par.

Sixty of the 73 players to make the cut finished their third rounds yesterday after morning fog disrupted the playing schedule on Friday and Saturday. Luiten of the Netherlands eagled No. 18 to move into second place on 11-under, one shot ahead of McIlroy (70), Pieters (64), Matthew Baldwin (67), Grace (66) and An Byeong-hun (69).

CAREERBUILDER

Reuters

Jason Dufner moved one step closer to a fourth USPGA Tour victory with a sizzling back nine to grab a two-shot lead after the third round of the CareerBuilder Challenge in La Quinta, California, on Saturday.

The laidback American, who had been a stroke clear overnight, racked up seven birdies after the turn, including five in a row, to fire an eight-under-par 64 at La Quinta Country Club, one of three co-hosting venues this week.

Dufner posted a 23-under total of 193 to finish two ahead of compatriot Jamie Lovemark, who carded a 65 at the PGA West’s TPC Stadium Course.

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