MEMPHIS: Greg Owen and Fabian Gomez, each in search of a first US PGA Tour win, posted three-under-par 67s on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) to share the third-round lead at the St. Jude Classic.
England’s Owen, a 43-year-old playing in his 214th PGA Tour event, had four birdies and one bogey. Argentina’s Gomez had six birdies and three bogeys as the duo topped the leaderboard on nine-under-par 201.
On a day when fickle winds made life tricky, overnight leader Brooks Koepka shook off a bogey at the second with an eagle at the third, but didn’t make a birdie until the 18th — capping a 71 that left him tied for third on 202.
He was joined by Scott Brown, who carded a 68.
It was a further two strokes back to Australian Matt Jones and American Austin Cook on 204, Jones after a 68 and Cook with a 72.
Five-time major winner Phil Mickelson, tuning up for a title tilt at the US Open starting on Thursday, couldn’t find the low round he was hoping for to build momentum heading into the second major of the year.
Mickelson, who has six US Open runner-up finishes, opened his day with a double bogey at the first.
Two bogeys and four birdies later he had an even-par 70 to head a group on 207—six shots off the pace.
“I fought hard to get the round back to even par,” Mickelson said. “I’m pleased with that. I’m disappointed I didn’t make a better run for tomorrow.
“I think right around 10-under is going to win this golf tournament. The course is playing challenging enough.”
Mickelson, who could complete a career Grand Slam with a US Open victory, hasn’t won a title this season. His two top-10 finishes include a share of second at the Masters.
“I feel like I’m a lot closer, but I’ve been saying that for months now and it hasn’t quite clicked,” Mickelson said.
“But these last five days I’ve had the biggest strides in my game. I’m controlling my misses better and I’m hitting a lot more good shots.”