Claxton moves one step closer

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Will Claxton held on to his lead after the fourth round of the PGA Tour qualifying school in California amid tough, windy conditions.

Will Claxton held on to his lead after the fourth round of the PGA Tour qualifying school in California amid tough, windy conditions.

Claxton’s 70 on Saturday was one of the best scores of the day, bettered by only five players in the 167-man field. With only two rounds left to play in the competition, the 30-year-old from Aubern University looks set to earn his 2012 Tour card come Monday.

He lies on 15 under par, while 48-year-old Marco Dawson moved up to second place on 13 under after a superb five-under-par 67.

Noh Seung-yul and Harris English are tied for third place on 11 under thanks to rounds of 72 and 70 respectively.

The big loser on the day was Australian Matt Jones, who went from joint second to joint 21st after a disappointing 78 that contained two double bogeys.

One of the biggest gainers was Ryan Yip, who also lies in 21st place, but thanks to a 67 moved all the way up from 107th position.

Former Ryder Cup player Vaughn Taylor lies in sixth after a 73.

There are 25 tour cards up for grabs, and several major champioons fighting to get one.

2002 US PGA winner Rich Beem fell out of contention after a dreadful 80, while former Open champion David Duval isn’t out of it yet, but needs to make a move. He’s on two over.

Shaun Micheel, the 2003 US PGA champion, is in a tie for 55th place after a 71 and former two-time US Open winner Lee Janzen is in 41st place on three under after a handy 71 in the tough conditions.

Jeff Maggert, a three-time Ryder Cup player, was also on three under after a 75, just like England’s Greg Owen, who shot a 69.

Another former Ryder Cup player, Boo Weekley, dropped to four over after a 78.

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