LOS ANGELES: Zac Blair had six birdies in a six-under par 64 on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) to grab a share of the third-round lead alongside Brandt Snedeker at the US PGA Tour Sony Open in Hawaii.
Blair had a chance to take sole possession of the lead in the $5.8 million tournament at Waialea Country Club in Honolulu, but missed a birdie putt from inside three feet at the 18th.
“I hit a bad putt, nothing more to it than that,” said the 25-year-old, who goes into the final round in search of his first PGA Tour title tied with seven-time tour winner Snedeker on 16-under par 194.
Overnight leader Snedeker carded a bogey-free four-under par 66.
The leaders were one stroke in front of American Kevin Kisner, who carded a 66 for 195.
Kisner shook off a bogey at the par-three 17th, where his five-iron ended up on the wrong side of a hospitality tent, to birdie 18.
“When I hit it, I knew it was not what I was trying to do,” he said of his five-iron at 17. “I was thinking I could hit a cut shot and hold it up against the wind, and it did not cut, obviously. I thought I killed somebody in the stands.”
Nevertheless, with his birdie at the last he secured his spot in Sunday’s final group.
“I think it’s huge tomorrow so you know what’s going on,” Kisner said of playing with the leaders.
South Korean Kim Si-Woo, 20, capped his round with a birdie at 17 and an eagle at 18 for a 65 that left him two off the pace on 196—two shots in front of Argentina’s Fabian Gomez, who carded a 65 for 198.
The leaderboard, tightly bunched all week, spread out just a bit at the top on Saturday, but with seven players tied at 199, there were still 10 players within four shots of the 16-under lead.
With birdies again likely to be plentiful, Snedeker said he would still try to resist the urge to keep track of what others were doing on Sunday.
“I’ve found for me I play better when I don’t scoreboard watch, because I don’t caught up in what’s going on,” Snedeker said.
“I can’t control what everybody else is doing. I’m going to go out there and try and shoot as low as I possibly can.
“You see here in years past, guys shoot 62, 63 here on Sunday to get the job done. I know I’m going to have to make some birdies tomorrow. Even-par or one-under par is not going to get it done.”