12 Jul 2015

Lee in contention for second PGA title

4:50 pm on 12 July 2015

The New Zealand golfer Danny Lee is in contention for his second consecutive PGA victory, sitting in outright second place at the latest tour event in IIInois.

Lee fired a nine under par third round 62 to move up 20 places and sit just two strokes off the lead held by the reigning Masters and US Open champion, Jordon Spieth.

Lee is 15 under for the tournament and surged to the top of the leaderboard on day three until Speith completed his round with a birdie, eagle, birdie finish.

Lee, who's the only non-American inside the top ten, had his first win on the tour last week in West Virginia.

Lee caught fire from the 1st tee carding three consecutive birdies before finishing with six more.

The low round of the day, however, belonged to the world number two Spieth, whose card featured six birdies and two eagles.

The New Zealand golfer Danny Lee

The New Zealand golfer Danny Lee Photo: Photosport

The New Zealander Steven Alker is tied for 20th at nine under par for the tournament after a one under par third round 70.

Many of the biggest names in the game opted to tee it up at the Scottish Open in Gullane before next week's Open Championship at St Andrews.

While many have criticised Spieth's decision to play in Illinois, where he won his first PGA Tour title at the tender age of 19, the American is entirely happy with his build-up to next week's British Open.

"If I thought that I wasn't going to play well next week because I played here, it would be a different story," Spieth, 21, told reporters.

"This is a good preparation for me to get good feels, to get in contention, and to find out what's on and what's off when I'm in contention.

"The only downside here versus playing anywhere else is the adjustment to the time zone, but as long as I get over there and I have my schedule ahead of time, I'm going to have enough sleep by the time I tee it up Thursday."

Tiger Woods, who has clinched two British Opens at St. Andrews among his 14 major victories, backed Spieth's strategy.

"He did all right at Chambers (Bay)," smiled Woods, referring to the links-style venue for this year's U.S. Open where Spieth triumphed by one shot. "He's played the British Opens before.

"St. Andrews will be a little bit different, and there will be a lot to learn in a short time. But he's young, and he can spend the energy playing 18 holes every day and be fine."

Five-times major champion Phil Mickelson, who won the 2013 British Open at Muirfield, felt tournament preparation was all about individual choice.

"Each player has to find out how to prepare their best to play their best, and it's different for everybody," said the 45-year-old American.