De Jonge leads Valspar by one

Brendon de Jonge of Zimbabwe posted a 2-under-par 69 and held a one-stroke lead over Jordan Spieth, Henrik Stenson of Sweden and three others midway through the Valspar Championship on the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, Fla.

The 34-year-old De Jonge, whose only pro victory came in the 2008 Xerox Classic on what is now the Tour, birdied two of his last three holes, while finishing on the front nine in windy conditions. He holed a 51-foot birdie putt at No. 7 and a six-footer at No. 9.

“Very pleased,” said De Jonge, a Virginia Tech product who lost in a playoff to Robert Streb at the McGladrey Classic in October. “I feel like my game is in good shape at the moment. Putting four rounds together. I made a 50-footer over there on No. 7, and No. 9 was playing straight downwind, so you could get pretty aggressive there.

“I made a soft bogey on No. 6 after driving it perfectly. Terrible tee shot on 7. Got lucky to have a shot. Made a long putt. … It’s just a fickle course. You don’t want to get too exotic. If the wind blows, it’s tough.”

Spieth collected four birdies on the back nine and seven in all while shooting 67, while Stenson  sank a 21-foot birdie putt on the final hole to record a 70.

Ryan Moore carded four birdies and a single bogey in a round of 68 to claim his share of second, while Kevin Streelman had a 69 and Derek Ernst came in with a 70 to also finish one shot behind de Jonge.

Ricky Barnes, the 2002 United States Amateur champion from Stockton, overcame a double bogey and a bogey on his back nine to shoot 72 and was two shots behind in a tie for seventh with Lucas Glover, who shot 69, Ian Poulter of England, who had a 70, and Sean O’Hair, who totaled 72.


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