Wed, 06 Dec 2023

Justin Leonard takes lead into final round at Pebble Beach

Field Level Media
24 Sep 2023, 14:19 GMT+10

(Photo credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports)

Justin Leonard will take a one-shot lead into the final round of the Pure Insurance Championship in Pebble Beach, Calif., as he looks for his first PGA Tour Champions victory.

Leonard shot a 7-under-par 65 on Saturday at Spyglass Hill Golf Course, leaving him at 10-under 134 through two rounds.

Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee carded a 7-under-par 65 at Pebble Beach Golf Links, leaving him at 9 under and alone in second place.

Paul Stankowski (65 at Pebble Beach) and India's Arjun Atwal (68 at Spyglass Hill) share third place at 8 under. South Korea's Y.E. Yang and New Zealand's Steven Alker both shot 69 at Pebble Beach to end the day tied for fifth at 7 under.

Lee Janzen (69 at Spyglass Hill) and Fiji's Vijay Singh (70 at Pebble Beach) are tied for seventh at 6 under, with Brian Gay (71 at Pebble Beach) another stroke back.

Everyone in the field played one round at Pebble Beach and one at Spyglass Hill. The tournament featured a 36-hole cut -- a rarity on the PGA Tour Champions -- as only the top 54 players advance to the final round on Sunday at Pebble Beach.

Leonard, 51, is competing in his 19th Champions event after a PGA Tour career that saw him win 12 times, including a major title at the 1997 Open Championship.

He was 3 under par for the day through his first 12 holes on Friday before heating up while finishing on the back nine at Spyglass Hill. He birdied the par-4 fourth hole, then added three more birdies on Nos. 6, 7 and 8.

"I putted really nice," Leonard said. "These greens were so good. And getting off this morning -- playing late yesterday afternoon, after a lot of traffic had been through, the greens were a little bumpy. Today these greens were so good. ...

"I drove it well. I made the putts that I was supposed to. And we ... played a good seven or eight holes before there was any breeze. And then what breeze we had playing the front nine, it wasn't substantial. So caught it on a really good day."

Jaidee's round featured a stretch of five straight birdies from No. 2 through No. 6.

"This week is my special week, because the golf course is in great condition and ... I really enjoy to be here," said Jaidee, whose lone PGA Tour Champions title came at the American Family Insurance Championship in June 2022.

Defending champion Steve Flesch is tied for 40th at 1 over par following a 72 at Pebble Beach.

--Field Level Media

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