Golf

Defending Colonial champion Scott on rise after shooting 66

Star-Telegram

Adam Scott’s second consecutive 4-under-par 66 on Saturday put the 2014 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial champion back in contention for a second plaid jacket, five shots off the lead.

“I felt like I played pretty good again today,” said Scott, who had five birdies and a bogey on Saturday. “One or two more might have had me in with a good shot tomorrow, hopefully anyway.”

Fort Worth golf legend Ben Hogan is the only player to win back-to-back Colonials, accomplishing the feat in 1946-47 and 1952-53.

“I’m going to need a round where they all go in,” said Scott, whose 28 putts in the third round were two fewer, each day, than in rounds one and two. “If you can hit the fairway, you’re going to hit a lot of greens, and then the chances come. But you’ve got to make some putts, and as long as I keep hitting the good ones, they might go.”

He said soggy Colonial remains in good shape.

“Not bad to be fair,” Scott said. “The playing areas are holding up well. Not much casual water unless you get way out of the way. I think the course has held up well.”

Kevin Na has one shot lead heading into final round

Better putting

Two-time champion Zach Johnson’s third-round 67 was his best day on the greens so far, with 27 putts.

“I putted a little bit better today and as a result I shot a couple of shots lower,” said Johnson, who won in 2010 and 2012. “I’m hitting it nice, I’m not putting that bad. I’m just not making any yet.”

Johnson’s 54-hole score of 206 is seven behind the lead.

“I’ve putted well enough to be in contention,” he said. “It’s just a matter of being patient and hitting solid putts.”

Local favorite

Mansfield High graduate Martin Flores has improved his score with each round, and Saturday’s 68 has him at 1 under after 54 holes.

“Overall, I’m happy with how I played and I can’t be upset with missed putts or anything like that,” Flores said. “It was a good round.”

Flores converted three birdies, had one bogey, and came within about a foot on four other birdie attempts.

“I just need see a few more putts go in,” he said. “I just need to keep doing what I’m doing off the tee and my shots into the green. Just a few more putts going in would be nice.”

Flores and playing partner David Lingmerth were among the last players to begin their Saturday round.

“I thought it was going to be pretty rainy and much more windy throughout the day,” Flores said. “It wasn’t much early and then it picked up on the way in. Pretty happy I didn’t get drenched.”

Now they wait

With a 90 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms Sunday, players again have early start times off the first and 10th tees.

“I know they’re going to play 72 holes, whether it’s tomorrow or Monday,” said Tony Finau, who shot a 66 Saturday and is six shots behind the lead. “I’ve got 18 holes to go and hopefully I can put together another good one, whenever we do get back out.

“There’s a basketball court at my hotel, so I think I’ll go and shoot some hoops and just kind of hang out until we hear from officials what the word is.”

Former SMU player Colt Knost is familiar with TPC Las Colinas in Irving, site of the next PGA Tour stop.

“It’s nice that next week I know the place so well,” said Knost, who shot a 66 Saturday and is at 205. “I really don’t need much preparation next week. So, yeah, just whatever happens happens.”

The 2015 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial has been one for the books weather-wise. Overnight rains will again soak the course before Sunday's finale. Star-Telegram video by Paul Moseley.

Eric Zarate, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @zarate_eric

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