PGA Tour

Kraft, Varner share Greenbrier lead with Watson lurking

2018-07-08 06:04
Golf ball (Getty Images)

Washington - Harold Varner birdied four of the last eight holes to fire a four-under par 66 and seize a share of the lead after Saturday's third round of the US PGA Greenbrier Classic.

Varner's bogey-free round left him alongside fellow American Kelly Kraft on 14-under 196 for 54 holes at the mountain resort course in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.

"I'm playing really well. Not playing perfect golf, Just going for targets and having fun with it," Varner said. "Playing from the fairways out here, you give yourself a good shot."

Both Varner, one of the tour's few African-American players, and Kraft, who made bogeys at 16 and 18 in shooting a 69, seek a first US PGA title in their 85th career attempt.

"That would be awesome," Varner said. "Just want to have an opportunity."

Varner, who collected a European Tour triumph at the 2016 Australian PGA Championship, made 10 consecutive pars to start, including a 14-foot putt at the par-3 third and a 10-footer at the sixth.

Varner sank a nine-foot birdie putt at 11. He tapped in at 12, rolled in a 20-footer for birdie at 14 and a 12-footer at the 17th.

Kraft's round included a 19-foot birdie putt at 10 and a chip in for birdie from 41 feet at 11. But he stumbled late, unable to get up and down for par from bunkers at 16 and 18.

Defending champion Xander Schauffele and US compatriot Kevin Na shared third on 197 with countryman Sam Saunders, grandson of the late golf legend Arnold Palmer, fifth on 198.

India's Anirban Lahiri, American Joel Dahmen and two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson shared sixth on 199.

Watson, seeking his fourth title of the year, fired seven birdies on his way to a 65.

"I've got to have a big day and hopefully they're not going to have big days," Watson said.

Watson has been unhappy at mistakes in rounds each day, although he likes the way he has been playing lately, coming off a victory two weeks ago at the Travelers Championship.

"I'm not where I wanted to be," Watson said. "I've missed a lot of putts. I thought I hit the ball a lot better than that.

"I had a couple silly bogeys today. Angry with where I'm at."

Schauffele, who also won last year's Tour Championship, eagled the par-5 17th blasting out of greenside sand from 22 feet to move within a stroke.

South Korean-born Na won his only US PGA title at the 2011 Shriners Hospitals Open.

"We're definitely looking for that second win," he said.

World number 99 Lahiri, also seeking a first PGA Tour win, fired a career-low 61 on Friday but shot 71 on Saturday.

Leading third-round scores on Saturday in the US PGA Tour Greenbrier Classic at White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia (USA unless noted, par-70):

196 - Harold Varner 66-64-66, Kelly Kraft 64-63-69

197 - Xander Schauffele 66-66-65, Kevin Na 69-63-65

198 - Sam Saunders 68-63-67

199 - Bubba Watson 68-66-65, Joel Dahmen 67-65-67, Anirban Lahiri (IND) 67-61-71

200 - Bronson Burgoon 67-68-65, Ryan Moore 66-67-67, Jamie Lovemark 67-66-67, Ryan Armour 67-66-67, Jason Kokrak 65-64-71

201 - Keegan Bradley 65-69-67, Tony Finau 67-67-67, JJ Spaun 68-65-68, Ollie Schniederjans 66-66-69

202 - JT Poston 69-68-65, David Lingmerth (SWE) 66-68-68, Austin Cook 66-66-70

203 - Brandon Harkins 72-65-66, Mackenzie Hughes 69-67-67, David Hearn (CAN) 68-67-68, Jim Furyk 68-66-69, Wesley Bryan 69-65-69, Steve Wheatcroft 66-67-70, Scott Stallings 70-63-70, Brandt Snedeker 66-67-70, Billy Hurley 66-66-71

Read more on:    pga tour  |  greenbrier classic  |  harold varner  |  golf
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