NEW YORK (Reuters) - American Jeff Overton, seeking his maiden PGA Tour title, shrugged off a poor start to take a three-shot lead in the third round of the Greenbrier Classic at White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia Saturday.
Four strokes ahead of the field overnight, Overton bogeyed the second and fifth holes before recovering with five birdies on the back nine on the way to a four-under-par 66 on the Old White Course at The Greenbrier and 18-under-par total of 192.
Several blisteringly low scores were posted by some of his rivals on the rain-softened layout, with fellow American DA Points firing a sizzling 10-birdie 61 to vault to second, while big-hitting U.S. Ryder Cup player JB Holmes produced a brilliant 60 that lifted him to a four-way tie for fourth at 12 under.
Double PGA Tour winner Boo Weekley was alone in third on 13-under after carding a 67.
“It was kind of a weird start, I didn’t really hit it that bad,” Overton told reporters after regaining control of the tournament with a back nine of five-under 31.
“But I played well. I missed some putts early, and then a whole bunch of putts kind of fell in for me late, fortunately. It was good to see them go in.”
Asked what it would take for him to claim his first PGA Tour title after finishing second on three previous occasions, Overton replied: “A good round. You got to play well.
“Somebody at 12 under right now, I’m sure one of those guys is gonna shoot 65 or better. There’s gonna be some good scores tomorrow, and it’s gonna take a good score to win.”
Holmes recorded 11 birdies and a lone bogey at the par-three third to end the third round level with compatriots Jonathan Byrd (64) and Jimmy Walker (67), and Zimbabwe’s Brendon de Jonge (65).
“I was hitting it close,” the American said of his lowest round on the PGA Tour. “I hit three inside a foot, so I was definitely on with the wedges today.
“I was putting pretty good, I was doing everything pretty good today. You know, when it all clicks like that, golf is a lot of fun.”
Holmes returned the fourth score of 60 or better on the U.S. circuit in the last month, following the 59 by Paul Goydos and 60 by Steve Stricker in the John Deere Classic first round and a 60 by Carl Pettersson in the Canadian Open third round.
“If I had shot 60 maybe this time last year, it would probably get a little more attention than it’s probably gonna get,” said the American whose round included a missed birdie putt from just three feet at the 11th.
“But there has been a lot of great scores lately.”
Writing by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Dave Thompson/Greg Stutchbury
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