Hot Walker takes commanding lead at Pebble Pro-Am

Sat Feb 8, 2014 10:17pm EST
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(Reuters) - Red-hot Jimmy Walker stands on the verge of his third victory of the PGA Tour season, six strokes clear of his nearest pursuers after his third round at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on Saturday.

Walker opened the commanding lead with two late birdies to post a four-under-par 67 on Saturday at Monterey Peninsula, one of three courses used for the $6.6 million pro-celebrity event on the California coast.

The 35-year-old American's round came on a day with high winds that reached nearly 40 mph and caused a delay of more than two hours as the gusts moved several balls on the greens.

Twelve players, including second-round co-leader Jordan Spieth, did not complete the round due to the delay and were returning at 7 a.m. local time (1500 GMT) to finish their third rounds.

Walker posted a 13-under-par 202 total heading into Sunday's final round, which will bring everyone who makes the cut together at Pebble Beach.

Fellow American Hunter Mahan (72) and New Zealander Tim Wilkinson (69) were tied for second on seven-under.

The three frontrunners all played at Monterey Peninsula.

"I have never had whatever big lead this is going into the last round," Walker told reporters.

"It played really tough. When (we) made the turn, coming back and playing about five or six (holes) in a row in the wind, it was really stout.   Continued...

Feb 8, 2014; Pebble Beach, CA, USA; Jimmy Walker tees off on the 5th hole at Monterey Peninsula Country Club, shore course during the third round of the AT&T National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach Calif. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports