Blake leads Champions Tour finale

Jay Don Blake shot a third-round five-under-par 66 on Saturday to grab a two-shot lead in the Charles Schwab Cup Championship.

Jay Don Blake shot a third-round five-under-par 66 on Saturday to grab a two-shot lead in the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship.

Playing at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, Blake lies on eight under par for the tournament, and leads by two over Jay Haas (67), David Frost (69) and Michael Allen (69). Loren Roberts lies a further shot back after his 65, the best round so far this week.

For Blake, finally breaking a 20-year long winless streak at the Songdo IBD Championship in South Korea earlier this season has given him a level of self-belief that he never had before.

“It’s given me quite a bit of confidence, knowing that I feel like I belong and I can win out here,” Blake said.

“I just think a lot of us want it so bad … that we probably get in our own way sometimes trying to make things happen instead of just being patient. That’s what I’ve tried to do, just be patient with myself.”

Haas struggled with back pains for much of the second round on Friday, but it didn’t seem to bother him as much in the third round.

“It doesn’t seem to hurt when I swing,” Haas said. “It’s funny, when I’m standing around it bothers me. With the adrenaline, I’m able to hit.”

In the race for the Season-long Charles Schwab Cup, points leader Tom Lehman lies in 16th place for this event, while second-placed Mark Calcavecchia, who is only 382 points behind him, is in a stronger position in sixth on four under. He needs to finish at least second to win the season title.

Fred Couples shot a 74 to drop into a tie for 12th at one under.

Blake carded five birdies in his bogey-free third round. Birdies at 16 and 17 in particular helped him pull away from the chasing pack, after earlier ones at the second, eight and ninth had placed him amongst the leaders. His final birdie at 17 came after a 30-foot putt from the fringe went in the hole.

“When I hit it I thought it was going to come about three feet short,” Blake said. “I think the spectators in the bleachers cheered it in. They were saying, ‘Roll, roll, roll.'”

Allen looked set to finish only one shot back, until a bogey at 18 dropped him down to six under.

“Definitely a cooler, difficult day,” Allen said. “I’m struggling to hit the ball. I’m not quite on my game right now.”