3 Min Read
(Reuters) - Englishman Greg Owen and Fabian Gomez of Argentina passed the overnight leader to take the lead after the third round at the FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis on Saturday.
Owen and Gomez both shot three-under 67 at TPC Southwind for a 54-hole total of nine-under 201, good enough to share a one-shot lead entering the final round of the PGA Tour event.
American Brooks Koepka, the 36-hole leader, birdied the final hole, but had to settle for a 71. The winner of the Waste Management Phoenix Open earlier this year is one shot behind the co-leaders along with American Scott Brown (68) on a packed leaderboard.
Only four shots separate the top 14 players.
Owen and Gomez and Owen are seeking their first PGA Tour wins. The best finish for the 43-year-old Owen, who won on the secondary Web.com Tour a year ago, was a runner-up showing at the 2006 Bay Hill event, when he went three-over in the final two holes in an infamous meltdown.
Owen said he started having some good swings thoughts two weeks ago at the Bryon Nelson, and they have stayed with him.
“It was tough out there," he told reporters. "The greens are firm, quick and the wind tends to swirl around here.
"But I’m very happy. I cleaned up around the green. I’m hitting the fairways. I’m putting the ball in play and taking advantage of my opportunities.
“I still have 18 holes to go. I just have to keeping doing the same stuff.”
Gomez does not have a top-10 showing on the PGA Tour, although he has won on the Web.Com tour.
One player in the pack to watch on Sunday will be two-time champion David Toms. The 13-time PGA Tour winner fired a 69 and is in a pack of eight players four shots back.
Meanwhile, Phil Mickelson will enter the final round six shots behind. In his tune-up for next week’s U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, the left-hander figures 10-under will be the winning score this week.
Mickelson, who needs a U.S. Open title to complete a career Grand Slam, likes the direction his game is headed.
“I feel like I’m a lot closer, but I’ve been saying that for months now and it hasn’t quite clicked,” he said.
“But these last five days I’ve had the biggest strides in my game. I’m controlling my misses better and I’m hitting a lot more good shots.”
Reporting by Tim Wharnsby in Toronto. Editing by Andrew Both