Spieth three shots off pace

Singapore, January 30

World No 1 Jordan Spieth struggled again with his putting as he ended a long 28-hole on Saturday three shots off the pace at the Singapore Open.

The American was on the course at 07:30 (2330 GMT) to finish 12 holes of his weather-delayed second round, signing for a one-under 71 before returning in the afternoon to shoot one-under for 16 holes of his third round before dusk fell.

The six-under-total left him tied fifth, three shots behind overnight leader Song Young-han of South Korea who was level through 13 holes of his third round before play was called off.

Spieth, the headline act of the Asian and Japan Golf Tour’s season opening event, had begun Saturday five adrift of Song but felt the gap should have been closed further. “I made all my putts inside six feet yesterday but missed five or six today. I’ve just got to get comfortable on the shorter length putts,” the American said after his second round.

He was again short of his major-winning form in the afternoon, with two birdie fours on the fourth and seventh punctured by a bogey on the fifth when he smacked the lip of a fairway bunker after finding sand from the tee. He did finally find his touch on the large and undulating greens with a 10-footer nailed for a birdie three at 12 but another short par putt on 15 lipped out to add to the frustrations.

A makeable birdie putt narrowly slid by on 16 and despite his best efforts to speed up play and complete his round in time he was beaten by the fading light. The 22-year-old Texan has a six foot par putt when he returns to the 17th green at 07:30 a.m. (23:30 GMT) on Sunday to finish his round along with 12 others. The fourth round was brought forward to 08:20 am.

China’s Liang Wenchong managed to squeeze in his third round, tapping in to complete his second consecutive four-under 67 after the horn had sounded for the clubhouse lead on eight-under. “I played 31 holes today and to be honest, I was feeling tired towards the end of the round,” the Chinese said.

Liang was one behind Song, who had a long wait to start his third round after finishing his second before the storms on Friday. “It did not help me that much not having played this morning as I had to wait about a long time for my tee off,” said the Korean, who mixed two birdies with two bogeys for a nine-under overall.