Wagner charges in Mexico

2011-02-27 21:11

Riviera Maya - American Johnson Wagner surged past overnight pacesetter Chris Stroud to take a one-shot lead in the third round of the Mayakoba Golf Classic on Saturday.

Four strokes behind at the start of an overcast and occasionally rainy day, Wagner fired a six-under-par 65 on the El Camaleon course at the resort of Playa del Carmen on the Riviera Maya.

In pursuit of his second PGA Tour victory, the 30-year-old recorded five birdies, one eagle and a lone bogey to post a 13-under total of 200.

Stroud was alone in second after carding a 70 with fellow Americans Bobby Gates (64) and Spencer Levin (67), plus Australian Jarrod Lyle (67), a further shot back at 11 under.

"I feel like I've been practising well," Wagner, who had missed the cut in his only two previous PGA Tour starts this year, told reporters.

"This week I just came into it wanting to be committed to what I'm doing and what I'm working on, and so far it's been phenomenal.

"It's nice to be back in this position. Hopefully this is what my career is going to look like for years to come."

Wagner, who won his maiden PGA Tour title at the 2008 Houston Open, covered the back nine in four-under 31 to take over at the top of the leaderboard.

"It just seemed like I had good birdie putt after good birdie putt on the back nine," he said. "They all didn't go in, but a lot of them did.

"(Tomorrow) I have to go out and make birdies and try to play the same kind of rounds that I've played the last two days. If I could go post a good number, I'd feel pretty good about it. Someone is going to have to play good to beat me."