Spieth stalks the leaders at Singapore Open
Tired world No. 1 lies three shots off the pace as Liang takes clubhouse lead
Fatigue was setting in but he tried not to let it show on his face.
With the sun scorching high over Sentosa Golf Club's Serapong Course, Jordan Spieth already had 12 holes under his belt from the morning when he took to the first tee shortly before 3pm to begin his third round at the US$1 million ($1.43m) SMBC Singapore Open yesterday.
Even before a ball was hit at the tournament, Spieth mentioned how tired he was from playing in five countries across three continents in the past two months.
The American's cause was not helped by the fact that inclement weather saw him complete just six holes in Friday's second round, ensuring he had to work overtime yesterday.
Displaying composure befitting his world No. 1 status, the 22-year-old was a picture of focus despite his exertions, and the extra attention, as the man most spectators had turned up to watch.
It was his game where the exhaustion showed.
He struggled to hit the fairways at times and found himself in the bunker on several occasions as his rhythm eluded him.
Of course, there is a reason why he is currently the top player in the world.
More often than not, he managed to get himself out of tight situations and while it was far from a vintage performance, the American will be content that he remains in with a shout at six under with two holes to play in his third round when yesterday's play was called off due to fading light.
With the frontrunners all failing to finish their rounds before dusk set in, it was China's Liang Wenchong who was the big mover as he carded a four-under 67 to claim the clubhouse lead at eight under.
Although Liang was similarly struggling with fatigue, his ability to capitalise when two opportunities presented themselves in the closing stages left him in good spirits ahead of today's final round.
"I played 31 holes today and, to be honest, I was feeling tired towards the end of the (third) round," said the 37-year-old.
"I started off really well with three birdies in the first four holes but dropped a bogey on the fifth.
"After that, I couldn't find those birdie opportunities and was glad they finally came on 16 and 18.
"Those birdies gave me that much-needed confidence boost and I'll try my best tomorrow."
Another one who drew plenty of focus yesterday was Song Young Han.
His stunning round of 63 on Friday saw him claim the lead at the halfway mark and he remains at nine under with five holes to play in his third round.
The South Korean had to wait for the second round to be completed before teeing off in the third round and felt he was disadvantaged.
"It did not help me that much not having played this morning as I had to wait a long time for my tee-off," said Song, who was part of the last flight - alongside Keith Horne and Shintaro Kobayashi - to begin at the first tee at 3:10pm.
"I have had many second-place finishes in Japan and Korea but I do not think that will affect me (mentally) tomorrow).
"It would be great to win here and that's my aim."
Fifteen players return at 7.30am today to finish their third round, before the final round commences at 8.20am.
LEADERBOARD (completed scores)
205: Liang Wenchong 71-67-67.
207: Jeunghun Wang 73-67-67, Lee Won Joon 71-69-67, Akio Sadakata 70-71-66.
208: Berry Henson 66-73-69, Jinho Choi 69-69-70, Brett Munson 71-67-70.
209: Sam Brazel 72-67-70.
210: Daisuke Kataoka 72-68-70, Soomin Lee 70-70-70, Masahiro Kawamura 70-70-70, Yoshinori Fujimoto 74-68-68, Chapchai Nirat 69-70-71, Yuta Ikeda 70-69-71, Yusaku Miyazato 71-68-71.
139: Quincy Quek 68-71.
142: James Leow (am) 72-70.
Missed cut (143):
144: Koh Dengshan 73-71.
145: Mardan Mamat 73-72.
146: Darren Clarke 74-72, K T Kim 73-73.
147: Thaworn Wiratchant 74-73.
149: Jamie Donaldson 72-77.