MIAMI - Unheralded Adam Schenk closed with a birdie to grab a one-stroke lead over Jordan Spieth and England’s Tommy Fleetwood after Saturday’s third round of the PGA Tour’s Valspar Championship.
Schenk birdied two of the last three holes in windy conditions to shoot a one-under 70 and stand on eight-under 205 overall after 54 holes at Innisbrook’s Copperhead course in Palm Harbor, Florida.
Chasing his first PGA Tour title in his 165th start, he fired his approach at the last inside five feet, then made the putt to seize the lead.
“Didn’t have a ton go our way until the very end. Tough day but overall very pleased,” Schenk said. “It was difficult. Wind was up, switching, it got cold at the end. We just stuck to our gameplan, kept our head down.”
Schenk, playing for a 10th consecutive week ahead of becoming a father next month, has a career-best of third at the 2021 Shriners Children’s Open but will be with three-time Major winner Spieth in Sunday’s final pairing.
“I just focus on myself,” he said. “I knew that last putt was to make it into the final group. Happy I made it. I’m excited for tomorrow.”
Spieth, the 2015 Valspar champion, and Fleetwood, seeking his first PGA Tour win after 111 starts, each fired 69s to share second on seven under with Webb Simpson, the 2012 US Open champion, with fellow Americans Cody Gribble and Taylor Moore on six under.
“Didn’t quite have my best stuff on the approach game and lag putting, but overall, I’m in a good spot going into tomorrow,” Spieth said.
“Lot of good players up there. Tommy has been in good form... I still think after it rains tonight, it’s going to take some more scoring than the last couple days.”
Fleetwood has won six European Tour titles, his most recent victory at last November’s Nedbank Challenge in South Africa, but has four runner-up efforts without a victory on the US circuit.
“We all dream and every time we tee it up, every week we want to win,” he said. “I haven’t done it yet....