Los Angeles - Former US Open winner Webb Simpson emerged from a crowded leaderboard Saturday, firing a three-under 67 to take sole possession of the lead heading into Sunday's final round of the Colonial tournament.
The 31-year-old American leads England's Paul Casey and Danny Lee of New Zealand by two strokes after three rounds at the Colonial Country Club course in Fort Worth, Texas.
Simpson, who won the 2012 US Open, reached nine-under 201 to move out of a four-way tie and grab the outright 54-hole lead. The end of Friday's second round action had seen 21 PGA Tour players finish within five shots of the leaders.
"The big thing for me is I was hitting it into the fairway," Simpson said. "When you start hitting them in the rough you start guessing and you're dealing with jumpers and dealing with the wind.
"At least in the fairway you're in control, and so that's probably why it looked easy. It didn't feel easy. It's 100 degrees out there. We were just trying to stay upright."
Casey shot a two-under 68 while Lee carded a one-under 69 as he dropped back into a tie for second after sharing the lead with Simpson and two others on Friday.
Americans Stewart Cink (66) and Kevin Kisner (70) are tied for fourth while Spaniard Jon Rahm and American Sean O'Hair both shot 70 to finish at five-under 205, four shots back of Simpson.
Simpson is gunning for his fourth win on the USPGA Tour to go with his US Open title and victories at the 2011 Wyndham Championship, 2011 Dell Technologies Championship and 2014 Shriners Open.
Simpson started quickly with back-to-back birdies on the first and second holes. His only bogey of the round came on the par-three eighth.
On the par-four 10th hole, Simpson hit his 153-yard approach shot to about five feet and then rolled in his putt for an easy birdie.
He birdied the next hole then closed out his round with seven consecutive pars.
Simpson hit 12 of 14 fairways, 14 of 18 greens, and 29 putts.
Reigning Masters champion Sergio Garcia was tied for eighth, with defending champ Jordan Spieth and three others, after a third round one-over 71.
Spieth, who grew up in nearby Dallas, is also at four-under after 54 holes after he shot a two-under 68 Saturday.
"I have a chance for a low one tomorrow," Spieth said. "There is no reason to hold anything back.
"I drove the ball tremendous today on this golf course. I feel great. You know, gosh, I put myself in position off the tee to shoot eight-under today.
"With this heat, I just flew I think five greens to the back pins. You just can't do that. More greens in reg tomorrow, and let her go."
Spieth is seeking to join Ben Hogan as the only players to win back-to-back Colonial titles, with Hogan performing the feat twice (1946-47 and 1952-53).
Former winner Phil Mickelson, who is playing here for the first time since missing the cut in 2010, shot a 69 and is tied for 32nd, 10 adrift of Simpson.
Leading scores after Saturday's third round of the PGA Tour's Dean & DeLuca Invitational at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas (par-70, USA unless noted):
201 - Webb Simpson 68-66-67
203 - Paul Casey (ENG) 69-66-68, Danny Lee (NZL) 70-64-69
204 - Stewart Cink 68-70-66, Kevin Kisner 67-67-70
205 - Jon Rahm (ESP) 66-69-70, Sean O'Hair 67-68-70
206 - Emiliano Grillo (ARG) 72-69-65, Bill Haas 69-69-68, Jordan Spieth 70-68-68, Sergio Garcia (ESP) 69-66-71, Scott Piercy 68-66-72
207 - Charley Hoffman 72-68-67, Jonas Blixt (SWE) 70-69-68
208 - Sam Saunders 71-70-67, Kim Whee (KOR) 68-70-70, Graeme McDowell (NIR) 66-70-72