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Simpson maintains lead in Las Vegas
Las Vegas, NV (SportsNetwork.com) - Webb Simpson carded a 4-under 67 on Saturday to maintain his comfortable lead entering the final round of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
Simpson finished 54 holes at TPC Summerlin at 19-under-par 194. He will seek his fourth career win on the PGA Tour and first since the 2012 U.S. Open on Sunday.
"The better I play, the harder it is for them to catch me, so that's kind of my mindset," Simpson said about his plan entering the final round.
Chesson Hadley also shot 67 during his third round to sit in second place at 15-under, while Jeff Overton (68) occupies third at minus-14 and Jason Bohn (69) is alone in fourth at 13-under.
Sean O'Hair fired the low round of the day with an 8-under 63 to vault into a share of fifth place with Ryo Ishikawa (68), Ryan Moore (69), Russell Knox (69), J.J. Henry (70) and William McGirt (64) at 12-under 201.
Simpson entered the third round with a 4-stroke advantage, and no one was able to move closer than three strokes to him before he teed off.
Bohn then birdied three of his first four holes to reach 14-under and pull within a stroke of Simpson, who parred his first two holes.
Simpson tripped to a 3-putt bogey at the third to fall into a tie with Bohn, but bounced back with a 5-foot birdie putt at the fourth to regain the outright lead.
Simpson followed that with a 16-foot birdie putt at the fifth to move to 16- under and reclaim a 3-stroke cushion as Bohn recorded a double-bogey 6 at the sixth to fall to 12-under.
That left John Senden and Overton tied for second before Senden, who was playing along with Simpson, rolled in his third birdie of the day at the fifth to pull within two of Simpson at 14-under.
But Senden's 2-putt bogey at the seventh dropped him back to 13-under, and he would continue to drop shots at the ninth and 11th to fall well off the pace.
Simpson, meanwhile, had followed his birdie at the fifth with five straight pars before he 2-putted for bogey from just inside 13 feet at the 11th to fall to 15-under, leaving him two strokes ahead of Overton.
Simpson again atoned for his mistake by following with a 13-foot birdie putt at the 12th and a 26-foot birdie effort at the 13th to move to 17-under and stretch his advantage up to four strokes.
He pulled further away with a 2-putt birdie at the drivable par-4 15th and a birdie at the 16th to finish at 19-under.
"The greens were a little more firm, a little more burnt out and a little faster, so I was I think a little too tentative and the speed of my long putts kind of hurt us on the front (nine)," said Simpson in a televised interview. "I couldn't really get a feel for it, but finally on the back nine I got some birdies going."
Hadley entered the second round tied for second place, but quickly fell behind with a double bogey at the third.
He would not drop a shot for the remainder of the day. however, and raced back into contention with birdies at Nos. 6, 9, 11 and 15. He then holed out for eagle from 98 yards at the 16th to grab second place at 15-under.
NOTES: Simpson's previous best finish at this event was a tie for fourth in 2010 ... Simpson's 67 snapped a streak of six straight rounds at TPC Summerlin at 66 or better ... Simpson has converted one of his four career third-round leads into a victory ... Hadley is making just his fourth career start on the PGA Tour ... O'Hair's 63 tied his career-low round on tour.
10/19 21:45:20 ET
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