LOS ANGELES: Chris Kirk fired a seven-under 65 on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) to take a share of the third-round lead at the Sanderson Farms Championship alongside fellow American Luke List.
The 31-year-old Kirk, who is seeking his fifth career PGA Tour title and second win in this event, had eight birdies and a bogey in his round Saturday at the Country Club of Jackson in Jackson, Mississippi.
List had seven birdies in his bogey-free 65.
“The greens are tricky to read and they’re quick, but I feel like my speed has been pretty good so far this week,” said Kirk, who is the highest ranked player in the field at 76 in the world. “Once you get out there on Sunday it’s anybody’s game.
“Hopefully I’ll be a little bit more comfortable out there but I’ll be just as nervous as everybody I’m sure.”
Kirk won this event in 2011 when it was known as the Viking Classic.
List, also 31, equaled Kirk’s 54-hole score of 14-under 202 after draining five of his seven birdies in a span of eight holes.
List’s lone professional win came at the 2012 South Georgia Classic on what is now the Web.com Tour.
“I was fortunate today to avoid the rough for the most part,” List said. “Certain holes I could take advantage of my length and certain holes had to throttle back but swinging really nicely today.
“For me it’s just being really patient. The more chill I can be tomorrow the better off I’ll play. Of course I’ll be nervous.”
Former US Open champion Lucas Glover shot 68 and was one stroke back in a tie for third with Canada’s Graham DeLaet, who had four straight birdies on the back nine for a 68, and Cody Gribble, who shot 67.
Grayson Murray, who led at the halfway point, stumbled to a double-bogey six on the 15th hole en route to a 72.
He fell into a tie for sixth with Cameron Smith of Australia, who sank a seven-foot eagle putt on the 11th hole in a 67, and Seamus Power of Ireland and Greg Owen of England, who both posted 70s.