Cook leads by one in Florida

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John Cook will take a one-shot lead into the final round of the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am after a 6-under 65 on Saturday.

John Cook will take a one-shot lead into the final round of the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am after a 6-under 65 on Saturday.

Cook leads at 11-under, one ahead of first-round leader Russ Cochran, who carded a 68. In third is Jay Don Blake, three strokes adrift.

“I left a few putts out there, but (I shot) a 65 like it or not, and that’s just fine with me,” Cook told pgatour.com.

“But that’s what we’re out here for. We’re champions and we like to win golf tournaments.”

Cook had his accuracy off the tee to thank for Saturday’s performance, as he hit 13 out of 14 fairways in regulation and birdied four holes on the back nine, including a run of three consecutive birdies from 12 to 14. A narrow miss on the 18th green only just prevented him from shooting a 64.

“I can be kind of streaky when it comes to birdies, but I’m glad to be streaky that way and not the other way,” Cook said.

“I’m pretty glad about just one bogey and it was a bad one on a three-putt. I don’t like making bogeys because I can’t handle the stress.”

Cook is a solid Champions Tour performer, winning at least once every year since 2007. He is fourth in the Charles Schwab Cup standings, and has at least a top-25 finish in all four Champions Tour events this season, including a win at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship in January. Then in February, he finished third in the PGA Tour’s Mayakoba Golf Classic.

Cochran is only one place back in fifth in the Charles Schwab Cup standings, just two points behind Cook, and has four top-10 finishes in five Champions Tour starts this season.

In contrast, third-placed Blake has not had a professional win since 1991, and played on qualifier status for most of the 2010 season.

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