Fleetwood Grabs 1-Shot Lead in Honda

Tommy Fleetwood of England charged forward near the end of the third round of the Honda Classic on a day most of the leaders were stuck in neutral or went in reverse.

The 29-year-old Fleetwood shot 3-under-par 67 to take a one-stroke lead over Brendan Steele to the final round on a day the Champion Course at PGA National Resort and Spa www.pgaresort.com showed its teeth when the wind picked up in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

“Actually, the big putt was for bogey on the 15th hole because it set up the rest of the day,” said Fleetwood, who has five victories on the European Tour but is seeking his first on the PGA Tour. “It’s funny how tough some shots can when the wind blows. And there are so many factors on this course.

“You just have to stand up and hit shots, and then see where it leads. It was nice to pull off some things that you are trying to do. It’s a good challenge and it was nice to see some putts go in toward the end of the round after I made a mess out of 15.”

Fleetwood made birdies on four of the last six holes, including a 45-footer on the 14th hole and a 49-footer from the fringe on the 17th to post a 54-hole total of 5-under 205.

Second-round leader Steele, from Idyllwild and UC Riverside, sank an 11-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole to salvage a 71, while Luke Donald made a nine-footer for birdie on the last hole and is two shots back in a tie for third with fellow Englishman Lee Westwood after they both matched Steele’s 71.

Daniel Berger carded a 69 that was marred by two late bogeys and is one more down in a tie for fifth with Charl Schwartzel of South Africa, who took a double-bogey 6 at No. 16, and Sungjae Im of South Korea, who had two late bogeys, as both finished at 70.

Mackenzie Hughes of Canada birdied three of the last five holes for a 66 that was low score of the day and is four behind in a tie for eighth with Rory Sabbatini of Slovakia and Mark Hubbard, who both shot 69, Robby Shelton and Russell Henley, who both wound up at 70, and J.T. Poston, who came in at 73.

Reigning British Open champ Shane Lowry of Ireland totaled 73 and is in at tie for 23rd that includes U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland, who had a 74.

For complete results, visit https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html

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