Stenson one stroke from third-round lead at Houston Open

Sat Apr 2, 2016 8:57pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Swede Henrik Stenson posted the best score of the day, a six-under-par 66, to vault within a shot of the third-round lead at the Houston Open on Saturday. Stenson, one of the best players not to have won a major championship, rolled in a 40-foot putt to save par at the final hole and join Americans Dustin Johnson and Russell Henley in a tie for third at the windy Golf Club of Houston.

American journeymen Jim Herman and Jamie Lovemark carded 67 and 70 respectively to head a crowded leaderboard at 11-under 205.

Stenson, winless on the PGA Tour since the 2013 Tour Championship, fired seven birdies and one bogey, but needed to get up-and-down to save par on the final three holes.

“That really keeps us in contention,” he told PGA Tour Radio. “It was tough coming in. It was gusty conditions.”

Stenson has been more successful recently on the European Tour, winning the season-ending World Tour Championship in Dubai in 2013 and 2014.

A win on Sunday would provide a timely confidence boost heading to next week's Masters, where the world number seven will try to break his major drought.

“I’m going to try once again to play a good final round and we’ll see where that takes us,” Stenson, 39, said.

“It’s a really bunched up leaderboard and I’m expecting the lead to change hands more than once tomorrow."

A fast start from Lovemark and a sturdy finish from Herman pushed the pair of Americans into a share of the lead. Herman birdied two of his final seven holes for his bogey-free round, while Lovemark made three straight birdies beginning at the second hole.   Continued...

Henrik Stenson of Sweden lines up his putt on the 17th hole following the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Master Card at Bay Hill Club and Lodge . Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports