NORTH Carolina, USA (AP) — Sergio Garcia shot a four-under 66 yesterday to take the lead at 14-under 196 after three rounds at the Wyndham Championship.
Tim Clark and Bud Cauley were a stroke back, with Jason Dufner, Harris English and Carl Pettersson at 12 under entering the final round of the last event before the FedEx Cup playoffs.
Dufner shot a 63, Cauley had a 66, Clark a 67, and English and Pettersson 68s.
Garcia, whose second-round 63 marked his best PGA Tour round in a decade, made a move with consecutive birdies midway through the back nine that briefly helped him leapfrog his playing partner, Clark.
Garcia plopped his tee shot four feet from the flagstick on the par-three 12th and tapped in, then followed that with a birdie on No 13 to move to 14 under. Then, after just his second bogey of the tournament, he bounced back with a birdie on No 15.
Clark might have had the lead comfortably to himself, had he not missed short birdie putts on consecutive holes midway through the back nine.
Instead, he'll have to settle for a share of second place with Cauley, who had three straight late birdies.
It's usually a birdiefest every August at this Donald Ross course, but for most players, it seems to be playing a little tougher this year. The cut of one under was the event's highest since it moved to Sedgefield in 2008.
The average winner's score in four years at this course has been 19 under, and it sure looks as if this year's champ — whomever it is — will approach that number.
Webb Simpson, a native North Carolinian and college star here who won the US Open in June, won it at 18 under last year and came back to defend a title for the first time in his short career.