Gomez, Brown share PGA lead
Rio Grande - Argentina's Fabian Gomez, seeking his first US PGA Tour title, fired a seven-under par 65 on Saturday to match American Scott Brown for a share of the lead at the Puerto Rico Open.
Gomez and Brown, both second-year PGA players whose best career finish on the US tour came at this event a year ago, finished the third round of the $3.5m event on 18-under par 198 for 54 holes.
Brown - whose hometown of Augusta, Georgia, is also the site of the Masters every April - fired a 67 on Saturday to join Gomez in Sunday's final group. Brown, 29, finished fifth in last year's Puerto Rico Open.
Gomez, 34, finished in a share of seventh here last year. Gomez shared 10th at last year's qualifying tournament to keep his PGA playing rights for 2013.
Four strokes off the pace in a share of third were Americans Blayne Barber, Brian Stuard, Jordan Spieth and Steve LeBrun with Morgan Hoffmann on 203.
Japan's Ryo Ishikawa, last year's Puerto Rico Open runner-up, hit his first US PGA Tour hole-in-one on Saturday, using a 6-iron to ace the 236-yard eighth.
Ishikawa also eagled the par-5 15th and closed with back-to-back birdies on his way to a six-under par 66 that put him in a group of seven players on 204.
Argentina's Andres Romero, the 36-hole leader by a stroke over Brown, went six-over on his last seven holes on the way to a 75 that left him seven back.
With 65 of the tour's top players at the World Golf Championships event at Doral in Miami this week, the Puerto Rico event offers a title chance to some of the PGA's unheralded standouts.
Gomez, who began the day three strokes behind 36-hole leader Andres Romero, opened with three birdies and added another at the par-5 fifth hole. He closed the front nine with back-to-back birdies before stumbling with a bogey at 10.
Birdies at the par-5 15th and par-4 17th kept Gomez in front but Brown managed a closing charge to join him at the top of the leaderboard.
Brown began with back-to-back birdies, took his only bogey of the day at the par-3 eighth, but began the back nine with a birdie and added others at the 13th, 15th and 17th holes.
Leading finishers on Saturday after the third round of the $3.5m US PGA Puerto Rico Open (USA unless noted, par 72):
198 - Fabian Gomez (ARG) 69-64-65, Scott Brown 68-63-67
202 - Blayne Barber 66-70-66, Brian Stuard 67-69-66, Jordan Spieth 69-66-67, Steve LeBrun 67-65-70
203 - Morgan Hoffmann 67-68-68, Andres Romero (ARG) 65-65-73
- Matt Jones (AUS) 71-69-64, Brendon de Jonge (ZIM) 70-69-65, Ryo
Ishikawa (JPN) 70-68-66, Boo Weekley 71-67-66, Justin Bolli 67-69-68,
George McNeill 71-64-69, Peter Uihlein 67-65-72
205 - Graham DeLaet (CAN) 70-68-67, Jon Curran 66-69-70
- Camilo Villegas (VEN) 71-69-66, Nick O'Hern (AUS) 69-69-68, Vaughn
Taylor 69-68-69, Luke Guthrie 70-67-69, Patrick Cantlay 70-67-69, DJ
Trahan 72-65-69, Robert Streb 71-65-70, Cameron Percy (AUS) 65-70-71,
David Hearn (CAN) 68-67-71