Glover grabs lead, Pampling in hunt at Las Vegas

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LOS ANGELES: Lucas Glover, the 2009 US Open champion who hasn’t won a title in five years, fired Saturday (Sunday in Manila) a second consecutive six-under par 65 to seize a one-stroke lead entering the final round of the US PGA Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

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The 36-year-old American, who has not won since taking the 2011 Quail Hollow crown, led on 15-under 198 after 54 holes with Australia’s Rod Pampling and American Brooks Koepka sharing second on 199.

Glover sank a 17-foot birdie putt on the opening hole, took his lone bogey at the third after finding a fairway bunker, then sank a 43-foot birdie putt at the par-3 eighth that sparked the rest of his round.

“I made a nice one. It was great to see that go in,” Glover said. “I made that long one and everything started to flow. I got the speed right on that long one. I got a little more aggressive and kept that going.”

Glover followed by making an eight-foot eagle putt at the par-5 ninth, adding birdie putts from seven feet at 11 and six feet at 15 and finally making a tap-in birdie at the par-5 16th.

Pampling, whose only US PGA triumphs came at the 2004 International and in 2006 at Bay Hill, fired a par 71. The 47-year-old from Brisbane made bogeys at the par-3 fifth and eighth but between them sandwiched birdies at six and seven, the first from 25 feet. He began the back nine with a bogey but birdied the par-5 13th and parred in from there.

Koepka made bogeys on three of the first six holes, birdied the seventh from 11 feet and then birdied four of seven to open the back nine. But he found water off the tee on the way to a double bogey at the par-3 17th and not even a closing birdie could put him on top.

Australia’s Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 US Open champion, and American Russell Henley shared fourth on 200.

Ogilvy fired a 66, running off four birdies in a row starting at the 14th hole, the most spectacular of them from 25 feet at the par-5 16th.

“You’ve got quite a few birdies at the end and I was able to make a few,” Ogilvy said. “I haven’t made everything but I have had a lot of putts. I’m feeling pretty good about it. Driving it well and if you’re driving it well you have got a good chance around here.”

Henley fired a bogey-free 63, including a 21-foot birdie putt at the par-4 fourth.

“It was fun,” Henley said. “I hung in there and made some pars when I got myself a little out of position and I made some birdie putts.”

AFP

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