Spieth shares lead after McIlroy blows up in Sydney

Sat Nov 29, 2014 1:55am EST
 
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By Nick Mulvenney

SYDNEY (Reuters) - American Jordan Spieth shot a two-under-par 69 for a share of a one-stroke lead with locals Greg Chalmers and Brett Rumford after blustery conditions caused chaos in the third round of the Australian Open on Saturday.

Firm greens and difficult pin positions but most of all the gusting wind left Spieth, Chalmers (71) and Rumford (69) on five-under -- a leading score unchanged from Friday -- with only five other players below par for the tournament.

While Adam Scott was among them in a share of fourth with fellow Australian Rod Pampling after both shot 69s, Rory McIlroy suffered a spectacular mid-round collapse that saw the world number one drop five shots in two holes and finish with a 76.

"The course is on a razor's edge as they are trying to create a golf course that's as unplayable as they can get it without it being so and it's right on that point," Rumford told reporters.

"It's tough, I'm certainly not saying it's easy, you seem as though you are pedaling a million miles an hour going no where."

Spieth described conditions as "brutal" and was pleased with his mix of five birdies and three bogeys, one of which came at the ninth hole when his approach shot hit the pin and bounced back off the green.

"The wind was flipping, it was tough to get the right yardage let alone the accuracy," he said.

"I felt like I really hung in there nicely. To grab five bogeys on a day like today, if I can do that tomorrow I think I will be in good shape."   Continued...

 
Jordan Spieth of the United States tees off on the fourth hole during the first round of the Australian Open golf tournament in Sydney, November 27, 2014.    REUTERS/Jason Reed