LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Former US Open winner Webb Simpson emerged from a crowded leaderboard Saturday, firing a three-under 67 to take sole possession of the lead heading into Sunday’s final round of the Colonial tournament.
The 31-year-old American leads England’s Paul Casey and Danny Lee of New Zealand by two strokes after three rounds at the Colonial Country Club course in Fort Worth, Texas.
Simpson, who won the 2012 US Open, reached nine-under 201 to move out of a four-way tie and grab the outright 54-hole lead. The end of Friday’s second round action had seen 21 PGA Tour players finish within five shots of the leaders.
“The big thing for me is I was hitting it into the fairway,’’ Simpson said. “When you start hitting them in the rough you start guessing and you’re dealing with jumpers and dealing with the wind.
“At least in the fairway you’re in control, and so that’s probably why it looked easy. It didn’t feel easy. It’s 100 degrees out there. We were just trying to stay upright.’’
Casey shot a two-under 68 while Lee carded a one-under 69 as he dropped back into a tie for second after sharing the lead with Simpson and two others on Friday.
Americans Stewart Cink (66) and Kevin Kisner (70) are tied for fourth while Spaniard Jon Rahm and American Sean O’Hair both shot 70 to finish at five-under 205, four shots back of Simpson.
Simpson is gunning for his fourth win on the USPGA Tour to go with his US Open title and victories at the 2011 Wyndham Championship, 2011 Dell Technologies Championship and 2014 Shriners Open.
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