Golf roundup: U.S. Open champ up by 2
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Webb Simpson likes the way he's avoiding bogeys and figures he will need to play smart again at the Greenbrier Classic to get his second win in three tournaments.
Simpson, the reigning U.S. Open champion, shot a 5-under 65 in the third round Saturday to take a two-stroke lead into the final round. Simpson had his second bogey-free round in a row to reach 14 under on The Greenbrier Resort's Old White TPC Course in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.
Troy Kelly was second after a 62. Rookie Charlie Beljan, J.B. Holmes and Ken Duke were 11 under. Beljan had a 67, Holmes 66 and Duke 65.
Simpson said he plans to peek at the leader board, "but the way I look at it is, I've got to go shoot under par [today]. And if I don't, somebody's going to probably [play] pretty good. I think the golf course is playing in such a way that there's plenty of birdie opportunities.
"I've almost got to imagine that these guys are all going to shoot 4, 5 under. I've got to stay aggressive."
Simpson has been in this position before. He briefly led entering the final nine holes a year ago, but faded to a tie for ninth.
"I realized shortly after the round that I wanted it so bad that it kind of put more pressure on myself than the pressure I was already feeling," he said. "So it kind of locked me up a little bit and I wasn't able to perform like I had been all week.
"I think it's good for me to remember that, not only [today] but every week that I just have to let it come to me."
Simpson started the third round a stroke ahead of five others. He opened with six consecutive pars before gaining momentum on the back nine. He two-putted for birdie from 24 feet on the par-5 12th, made a 7-footer at No. 14 and retook the lead from Kelly with a 6-foot putt on the 597-yard 17th. Simpson finished it off with a 20-footer for birdie on the par-3 18th.
• First Tee Open: Tom Kite shot a 3-under 69 at Pebble Beach for a share of the lead with Brad Bryant after the second round on Monterey Peninsula in California. Kite, 62, won the 1983 Bing Crosby National Pro-Am and 1992 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, the site of the final round today in the Champions Tour event. Bryant, winless since the 2007 U.S. Senior Open, had a 67 at Del Monte to match Kite at 8 under.
• French Open: David Howell of England shot a 4-under 67 to share the lead with Anders Hansen of Denmark at 6 under after the third round in Saint-Quentin-En-Yvelines. Hansen finished with a 69. South African George Coetzee is one back after a 70.
First Published July 8, 2012 12:00 am