Webb Simpson opens two-shot lead at Colonial

Peter Casey—X02835
May 12

FORT WORTH, Texas — Webb Simpson fashioned a 3-under-par 67 in hot, muggy
and blustery conditions to finish at 9-under 201 and assume a two-shot lead
after the third round of the Dean & Deluca Invitational on Saturday at storied
Colonial Country Club.Paul Casey of England and second-round co-leader Danny Lee of New Zealand
are tied for second.Casey fired a 68 that included a curving, 23-foot birdie putt on the final
hole and Lee followed in the next-to-last group with his own 16-foot birdie to
finish off a 69.Stewart Cink, the 2009 British Open champion, shot a 66 and is tied with
second-round co-leader Kevin Kisner three shots back in a tie for fourth.Jon Rahm of Spain forged a scrambling 70 and is tied with Sean O’Hair (70)
in sixth, four strokes in arrears.Emiliano Grillo of Argentina carded a third-round low 65 and is five shots
back in a tie for eighth with hometown favorite and defending champion Jordan
Spieth (68), Bill Haas (68), Masters champion Sergio Garcia of Spain (71) and
second-round co-leader Scott Piercy (72).Simpson, the 2012 U.S. Open champion who finished second in this event last
year and was a co-leader after the second round, managed birdies on Nos. 1, 2,
10 and 11, plus a bogey on the eighth, and made his round look easy despite a
heat index that reached 104 degrees.That was impressive since only 20 of the 72 players went under par in the
third round and 21 golfers have played the course in better than par over the
past three days.Cink, who moved up seven spots, and Grillo, who bettered his standing by 25
positions, were the only players to move into the top eight and within five
strokes of the lead.Phil Mickelson, who won this event in 2000 and 2008 and is playing here for
the first time since missing the cut in 2010, shot a 69 and is tied for 32nd, 10
shots off Simpson’s lead.NOTES: The scoring average of 71.65 in the first two rounds on Thursday and
Friday was the highest since 1991, with the cut at 4-over-par the highest since
1999. … Jordan Spieth had to replace regular caddy Michael Greller, who was
not feeling well, on the back nine of round three. Greller was feeling worse for
the wear after attending the U2 concert at AT&T Stadium on Friday night in
Arlington, Texas, and the after-effects combined with the 90-plus degree heat
was too much for him. Spieth’s personal trainer, Damon Goddard carried the
Texan’s bag for the rest of the round. … Because of the threat of
thunderstorms, lightning and heavy rain early Sunday morning, tee times for the
final round were moved back to begin at 9:45 a.m. (with the last one at 11:45
a.m.), with play in threesomes off split tees. … In the 69 playings of the
tournament at Colonial, the third-round leader/co-leader has gone on to claim
victory 36 times, most recently Spieth in 2016.