WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, West Virginia: American Johnson Wagner fired a six-under par 64 on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) to seize a two-stroke lead after the third round of the $6.3 million US PGA Greenbrier Classic.
Wagner made seven birdies, the last of them on a 12-foot putt at the par-3 18th, against a lone bogey to complete 54 holes on 14-under 196, two strokes ahead of countryman Jimmy Walker, who fired a bogey-free 64 at The Old White.
Sweden’s Jonas Blixt was third on 200, one stroke ahead of Australians Matt Jones and Stephen Bowditch and US teen Jordan Spieth, who at 19 is trying to become the youngest US PGA Tour champion since 1931.
Wagner, who opened with a 62 on Thursday, missed the cut in six of his past seven starts and withdrew from the other after the first round.
But thanks to some extra work with his coach last month, he was poised to capture his fourth career US PGA title after triumphs at the 2008 Houston Open, the 2011 Mayakoba Classic in Mexico and last year’s Sony Open in Hawaii.
“I had a little ‘Boot Camp’ with my coach two weeks ago and got my game back to where it was heading into Hawaii two years ago,” Wagner said.
When the last pairing teed off, there were 19 players within two strokes of the lead and 36-hole leader Matt Every stumbled with three bogeys in the first four holes, setting the stage for Wagner to seize command.
Wagner opened with a 14-foot birdie putt, sank an eight-foot birdie putt at the par-3 third and tapped in for a birdie at the fifth to reach 11-under and grab a two-stroke lead.