Koepka two ahead in PGA Tour's season opener

Sun Oct 13, 2013 4:22am EDT
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(Reuters) - Unheralded American Brooks Koepka moved a step closer to clinching a maiden victory on the PGA Tour after stretching his lead to two shots in Saturday's third round of the Frys.com Open in San Martin, California.

A stroke in front of the chasing pack overnight, Koepka kept his nearest challengers at bay as he fired a four-under-par 67 on another sun-splashed day of low scoring at CordeValle Golf Club in the opening event of the PGA Tour's 2013-14 season.

Though he was caught in a share of the lead by both Jason Kokrak and Robert Garrigus earlier in the round, the 23-year-old forged ahead with three birdies in the last six holes to post a 15-under total of 198.

"You've just got to approach it the same way," Koepka, who is competing for the first time in a regular PGA Tour event, told Golf Channel of his mindset for Sunday's final round.

"We've got a good game plan and things seems to be going pretty well. So just stick to it and everything will take care of itself. I played really well today."

The big-hitting Kokrak carded a 68 to share second place at 13 under with fellow American George McNeill, who rocketed up the leaderboard with a 10-birdie 62, equalling the course record matched earlier in the day by compatriot Jimmy Walker.

"It was a lot of fun," McNeill, who is seeking a third victory on the PGA Tour, told reporters. "Sixty-two, I don't know how it could ever not be fun.

"I figured out something on the range last night and my swing was much more comfortable today. I felt free so I could go ahead and aim at some flags."

'SENIOR CITIZEN'   Continued...