Gay stumbles but holds lead
Brian Gay gave up a shot at the last to leave him with a slender lead going into the final round of the St Jude Classic in Memphis.
Brian Gay gave up a shot at the final hole to leave him with a slender lead as he chased a second PGA Tour victory of the year at the St Jude Classic.
The American won the Verizon Heritage on Hilton Head Island in April by 10 shots from Luke Donald and Briny Baird but he will only take a one-shot lead into Sunday’s final round in Memphis.
Gay carded his only bogey of the third round a the par-four 18th to give him a 66, four under for the day, to move to 14 under par at the par-70 TPC Southwind, with fellow American Bryce Molder on 13 under after a birdie at the last for a 65 while Australia’s Robert Allenby was a further two shots behind following a 68.
The leading trio will play together on Sunday in the final group with the field divided once again into threesomes with more severe weather forecast in Tennessee.
Paul Goydos of the United States is in fourth place on 10 under following a second consecutive round of 64, while his compatriots Woody Austin, Heath Slocum and Vaughn Taylor are at nine under with two-time winner David Toms and Bob Estes lying a shot behind them.
Sweden’s Fredrik Jacobson will start the final round as the leading European on a day when Ryder Cup stars Padraig Harrington, Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson missed the halfway cut at the completion of the weather-delayed second round.
Jacobson is eight shots off the pace in a tie for 10th place at seven under par following a third-round 67 while Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell shot a one-under 69.
That got him to four under and in a tie for 23rd place alongside world number two Phil Mickelson, who endured a bumpy, three bogey, two birdie front nine on the way to two-under 68.
Mickelson, returning to the tour for the first time since his wife Amy was diagnosed with breast cancer last month, said he was looking for a little more momentum on Sunday as he prepared for next week’s US Open.
“I want to get out tomorrow and get a hot hand,” Mickelson said.
“I feel like I’ve been hitting some good shots but haven’t been following up with many putts. If I can make some putts, it will give me momentum heading into next week.”
Of the remaining Europeans in the field, Mathias Gronberg of Sweden fell to two under for the week after 72 while Spain’s Jose Maria Olazabal shot a 74 to slip to level par after 54 holes.
Harrington suffered a further blow to his preparations for next week’s US Open when he missed the cut at the St Jude Classic on Saturday morning.
The reigning Open and US PGA champion joined fellow world top-20 players Garcia and Stenson in making an early exit.
Ireland’s Harrington, ranked 11th in the world, had been one of 78 players unable to complete his second round in Memphis on Friday after play had been suspended for the day when tournament officials received severe weather warnings.
He returned to the course early on Saturday standing at two over with three holes to play and with the cutline projected at level par. A bogey, bogey, par finish put paid to hopes he would be returning later for the third round.
Harrington finished with a second consecutive 72 to exit at four over, thus missing the cut for the second week in a row.
World number four Garcia failed to get any momentum going heading to Bethpage, New York, for the second major of the year.
A second-round 73, completed Friday, left the Spaniard at three over and he was joined by a number of other disappointed Europeans, including Players champion Stenson, the world number six shooting a 75 to finish at eight over par for the week at the par-70 TPC Southwind course.
Richard Johnson of Wales undid his opening 67 with a second-round 77 while Swedish namesake Richard S Johnson added a 72 to a 71 that added up to an early exit.
Fellow Swedes Jesper Parnevik and Carl Petterson also went home early as did Scotland’s Martin Laird, who missed the cut by one stroke following rounds of 70 and 71.
A second-round 69 from Justin Leonard could not prevent the defending champion from bowing out.
All the third round scores & totals in the USPGA Tour St. Jude Classic, TPC Southwind, Memphis, Tennessee, United States of America.
(USA unless stated, par 70):
196 Brian Gay 64 66 66
197 Bryce Molder 69 63 65
199 Robert Allenby (Aus) 67 64 68
200 Paul Goydos 72 64 64
201 Vaughn Taylor 67 65 69, Woody Austin 67 66 68, Heath Slocum 71 63 67
202 Bob Estes 69 67 66, David Toms 67 66 69
203 Ben Crane 69 68 66, Fredrik Jacobson (Swe) 67 69 67, Guy Boros 67 66 70, Rich Beem 66 68 69
204 Jason Dufner 68 67 69, John Senden (Aus) 69 66 69, Matt Weibring 70 66 68
205 Aron Price (Aus) 73 66 66, Kevin Stadler 69 66 70, Chris Stroud 66 70 69, Jeff Overton 68 67 70, Tag Ridings 68 69 68, Jason Bohn 69 67 69
206 Michael Letzig 70 67 69, Michael Bradley 70 67 69, Bill Lunde 71 66 69, Retief Goosen (Rsa) 68 67 71, Graeme McDowell (NIrl) 66 71 69, Vance Veazey 67 68 71, Jason Day (Aus) 70 65 71, Phil Mickelson 68 70 68, Nathan Green (Aus) 70 66 70, Roland Thatcher 70 70 66, Brendon Todd 73 65 68, Marc Leishman (Aus) 69 68 69, David Mathis 68 69 69, Tim Clark (Rsa) 70 67 69
207 Brad Adamonis 68 72 67, Jerry Kelly 67 68 72, Brett Quigley 69 66 72, Loren Roberts 67 67 73, Lee Janzen 68 71 68, Harrison Frazar 69 65 73, Ronnie Black 72 68 67
208 Patrick Sheehan 68 69 71, Chris Riley 72 68 68, Paul Stankowski 71 68 69, Chris DiMarco 69 68 71, Mathias Gronberg (Swe) 66 70 72, James Nitties (Aus) 70 67 71, J J Henry 70 70 68, Glen Day 69 69 70, Bob Heintz 70 65 73, Scott Verplank 68 69 71
209 Ricky Barnes 67 69 73, Robert Garrigus 69 70 70, Cliff Kresge 71 69 69, Peter Lonard (Aus) 71 68 70, Jason Gore 72 65 72
210 Jose-Maria Olazabal (Spa) 66 70 74, Jarrod Lyle (Aus) 68 69 73, Omar Uresti 70 70 70, Cameron Beckman 68 71 71, Camilo Villegas (Col) 68 67 75
211 John Daly 72 68 71, Jay Delsing 70 70 71, Derek Fathauer 68 71 72, Brian Vranesh 73 66 72, Marc Turnesa 70 69 72
212 Wil Collins 73 67 72, Nick O’Hern (Aus) 72 68 72
213 Greg Chalmers (Aus) 68 69 76
214 John Merrick 72 66 76
215 David Gossett 70 70 75
217 Tim Herron 68 71 78, Dicky Pride 69 69 79
219 Jimmy Walker 65 72 82
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