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).
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.
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
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Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017