PGA Tour

Stallings sizzles to seize lead in sultry Alabama

2017-07-23 06:01
Scott Stallings (AP)

Washington - Scott Stallings defied tough playing conditions to fire 10 birdies and an eagle in an 11-under 60 Saturday at the US PGA Barbasol Championship.

Stallings' 19-under total of 194 put him one stroke in front of fellow American Grayson Murray, who had four birdies on each side with one bogey in a seven-under 64 on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Grand National layout in Auburn, Alabama.

Stallings opened with back-to-back birdies and after picking up another stroke at the fourth he eagled the par-five fifth. A bogey at six was followed by birdies at eight and nine, and he made five birdies coming in -- including three to cap his round.

When his 12-foot putt at the 18th dropped, it marked the second 60 in as many days on the rain-softened course, after Chad Collins' on Friday.

Stallings hit every green in regulation. His only bogey coming by way of a three-putt.

But Stallings said he hadn't spared much thought for his score, concentrating instead on coping with the draining heat.

"It's brutal hot out there," said Stallings, who won the last of his three PGA Tour titles in 2014.

"That was a good distraction for me," he added. "It's easy to lose your train of thought. I ran into that yesterday. I was playing great and let my mind go a little bit and faltered a little bit coming in.

"My goal out there today was to put myself in the same position and finish it off better than the day before."

Overnight leader Collins followed his 60 with a 69 that left him in a tie for third on 196 with Tag Ridings, who carded a 63.

The tournament, played opposite the British Open at Royal Birkdale, features a field largely drawn from outside the top 125 on the US PGA season points list looking to rise and qualify for the season-ending playoffs.

Leading scores on Saturday after the third round of the US PGA Barbasol Championship at Auburn, Alabama (USA unless noted, par 71):

194 - Scott Stallings 69-65-60

195 - Grayson Murray 67-64-64

196 - Tag Ridings 66-67-63, Chad Collins 67-60-69

198 - Cameron Tringale 65-66-67

200 - Ben Martin 68-68-64, Cameron Percy (AUS) 68-67-65, a-Sam Burns 68-66-66, Shawn Stefani 69-65-66, Robert Garrigus 67-67-66, Brian Gay 69-63-68

201 - Steve Wheatcroft 68-68-65, Martin Flores 65-68-68

202 - Rory Sabbatini (RSA) 66-74-62, Seamus Power (IRL) 68-70-64, Ryan Blaum 69-67-66, Ricky Barnes 68-66-68, Smylie Kaufman 69-65-68, David Hearn (CAN) 67-65-70

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