NICK WATNEY SHOT a seven-under 64 on Saturday for a share of the third-round lead with Kevin Na at the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas.
Watney, a two-time winner this year, birdied the final three holes and five of the last six at TPC Summerlin to match Na at 17 under in the Fall Series opener. Na followed his second-round 63 with a 66.
“I’m trying to keep it really simple,” Watney said. “I’ve driven the ball pretty well and it’s just been fairly easy to hit quite a bit of greens. I think that’s what you need to do out here is give yourself as many chances as possible. I’ve been able to do that so far.”
Robert Garrigus (63) and Kris Blanks (66) were a stroke back on -16, with Tommy Gainey (64), Paul Goydos (66) and Tim Herron (67) following on 15-under.
Na, tied for the lead with Jhonattan Vegas and Charlie Wi after the second round, played the front nine in four-under with five birdies and a bogey, and added a birdie on the par-5 16th to reach his tally of -17.
“I got off to a really good start on the front nine, made five birdies,” he explained afterwards. “I felt like I could go real low with a bunch of birdie holes on the back. Unfortunately, I slowed down a bit and missed a few short ones. But to finish 5-under for the day, I was pretty pleased.”
Robert Garrigus had nine birdies and a bogey in his 63. Hospitalised for dehydration on Monday in Phoenix, he opened the round with four straight birdies and then birdied three of the last four.
“I started off on fire,” he said. “It was just one of those days when everything was going in early, and I knew if I could sprinkle in some (birdies) late it would be a really good day, and it ended up being nice.
Vegas (69), Roland Thatcher (63), Spencer Levin (64) and Swede Carl Pettersson (66) are tied for eight on -14, the latter the best of the Europeans.
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