HUMBLE, Texas – A more difficult wind greeted players during the third round of the Shell Houston Open, but the top-ranked player in the field was able to handle the conditions. Here’s how things look at the Golf Club of Houston, where Jordan Spieth leads by one:
Leaderboard: Jordan Spieth (-14), Austin Cook (-13), Johnson Wagner (-13), Scott Piercy (-13), Shawn Stefani (-12), Paul Casey (-11), Charles Howell III (-11)
What it means: Spieth started the day three shots off the lead, but he grabbed the top spot with a 5-under 67 that was capped by a 41-foot bomb on No. 16. He is in position to get a second win in his last three starts before heading to the Masters.
Round of the day: Wagner got his first win here in 2008, and he is contending again after a 6-under 66 in the third round. He made seven birdies, including five across his first eight holes en route to a 31 on the front nine.
Best of the rest: Piercy tied the course record with a 63 in the opening round, and his 66 equaled Wagner for low third-round honors. His card was bogey-free, and Piercy closed with four birdies across his last seven holes.
Biggest disappointment: This tournament appeared to be Phil Mickelson’s for the taking, but Lefty fell back with a 3-over 75. Mickelson had a watery double bogey on No. 6 and closed with four bogeys over his final five holes.
Main storyline heading into Sunday: Spieth is in the driver’s seat, but the three players closest to him are all looking for a win that comes with a Masters invite. Should he win, Spieth would move to No. 2 in the world and cement his position as one of the favorites at Augusta National.
Shot of the day: Patrick Reed authored the highlight of the day with a hole-in-one on No. 16, a 5-iron from 178 yards. It helped him to a 5-under 67 in the third round, and at 10 under he trails by four.
Quote of the day: “Honestly, ideally I don’t look at this as a run. I look at this as this is the way I should be playing.” – Spieth