Adam Schenk’s late birdie gives him lead over Jordan Spieth, Tommy Fleetwood

PALM HARBOR, Florida. Adam Schenk looked like Jordan Spieth would overtake him and everyone else on Saturday at the Valspar Championship. When the wild and windy round ended, Schenk was still the player everyone was chasing after.

Schenk hit his approach on the 18th hole at 5 feet and made a birdy shot for 1-under 70, giving him a one-shot lead over Spit and Tommy Fleetwood as he goes from his first PGA Tour win.

“We didn’t have a ton of path to the very end,” Schenk said.

So did Fleetwood, who started with a birdie and followed it up with 12 pairs in a row. He finished with 69 without a ghost and realized that staying put was one of the best things he had at the Copperhead circuit in Innisbrook.

Full results of Valspar Championship

However, it was Spit who led the action.

He had 69 and had to decide when it was over, whether it was a good result because of all the mistakes he made or a missed chance to separate from the field. Spieth opened with a 6-iron to 7 feet for the eagle. He led by two full shots.

But on his last 12 holes, he only did three pieces—on four of them, he followed a birdie scarecrow. But it ended on the 18th when he crashed into a tree on his drive, went into the front bunker, and then exploded with a pin in his collar, which was the final scarecrow.

“I haven’t had the best results in my approach to the game, but overall I’m in good shape for tomorrow,” Spit said.

Schenk was level 8 under 205 and will play in the final group with Spit, whose game looks to be picking up form with the Masters on the horizon.

Schenck is playing for the 10th week in a row because his wife Courtney is expecting her first child at the end of April. He also enters the field next week in the Dominican Republic, although a victory could change everything.

It seems far away.

Eight players were within three throws of the lead. Webb Simpson had 68 including a scarecrow on par-5 14 when he hit the water while trying to lie down. He was two shots behind along with Taylor Moore (69) and Cody Gribble (70), who had short birdies on the 16th and 17th holes and narrowly missed a 20-foot ball while trying to hit a birdie in the all three holes in the tournament. “Snake Pit” on the Copperhead track.

Patton Kizzire had 67 points and made an early post not knowing what would come of it. Spit had a lot to do with it and ended up keeping everyone close.

“Full of action” is how Spit described his round.

He missed a 5-foot double hit #7. He hit a 6-foot double on 12 feet for a #8 birdie. He missed a 7-foot double on the 10th and then hit a bunker that hit the collar and rebounded on 3 feet for a par-5 birdie on the 11th.

Spit followed the three-strike scarecrow on the 13th with 3 woods at 35 feet for a two-strike birdie on the 14th. This was the case throughout the back nine, and Spieth appeared to calm down with a 10-foot double on the 17th, only to send his tee shot into the trees on the 18th.

“I made too many mistakes, but in general, under these conditions, I would have signed a contract for 2 less,” Spit said.

Central golf

Highlights: Spieth makes 5 birds, Eagle makes 69.

OT Brentley Romaine

When it came to Moving Day at the Valspar Championship, Jordan Spieth went full sprint, playing in the top nine par-5 in 3rd under.

The weather was as wild as his round, with wind gusts reaching 20 mph and turning in a completely different direction as the last groups were in the back nine. The players hit 9-iron at par-3 17th earlier in the round, and Gribble had to hit 5-iron at the end of the day.

The rain that was expected never came, although Innisbrook was expecting a downpour during the night, which could boost performance.

Fleetwood was the toughest of them all. He birdied on the opening par-5 hole and on the 14th par-5 hole and had a collection of big par shots to keep some momentum going.

“I kept working,” Fleetwood said. “Pars was good. The birds were hard to find. The mid-par pair saves at 9 and 10 were good shots into the hole. I never backed down. I was very happy with something at or above the level.”


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