Published: Sunday October 7, 2012 MYT 9:35:00 AM
De Jonge, Blixt, Moore share Las Vegas lead
LAS VEGAS, Nevada - Zimbabwe's Brendon de Jonge, Sweden's Jonas Blixt and hometown hero Ryan Moore shared the lead after Saturday's third round of the US PGA Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
Blixt birdied six of the last seven holes, including a 28-foot birdie putt at the 18th, to fire a five-under par 66 while de Jonge birdied four of the last five holes to shoot a 66 and Moore matched them with a bogey-free 65.
All three stood on 19-under par 194 for 54 holes in the $4.5-million event, the first of four season-ending events aimed at players struggling to keep tour rights for 2013 by finishing in the top 125 on this year's US PGA money list.
Americans Jimmy Walker and Tim Herron were five strokes off the pace sharing fourth as the final trio that played together surged away from the pack.
"When everyone is playing well you can feed off each other and I think we did a good job of that today, saw a lot of putts go in," de Jonge said. "Everyone played well and hopefully we'll have more of the same tomorrow."
Blixt birdied the par-4 second, stumbled back with birdies at the sixth and par-3 eighth, answered with a birdie at the par-5 ninth only to begin the back nine with a bogey.
The Swede, in his first PGA season, caught fire with a birdie at the par-4 12th and ran off five birdies in a row before settling for a par at the par-3 17th and grabbing a share of the lead with his impressive closing putt.
"Was very relaxed out there and I just had a good time," Blixt said. "They ran away a little bit and then I got lucky. I got hot in the end and made some putts and was able to catch them. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow."
De Jonge, like Blixt seeking his first US PGA title, birdied the second and fourth and closed the front nine with another birdie to stay atop the leaderboard but fell back with bogeys at the 10th and par-5 13th.
The African then birdied four holes in a row starting at the par-3 14th and ending with the par-3 17th, the streak broken when he missed by inches on a 12-foot birdie effort at 18.
"You have got to make a lot of birdies, but in saying that you've kind of got to pick and choose your spots as well," de Jonge said.
"If you don't have a great enough (shot), don't go for it just because you can see everyone is making a bunch of birdies around you. It's a matter of being a little bit disciplined as well at times."
Las Vegas resident Moore, whose only US PGA crown came in 2009 at Charlotte, opened with a birdie, added others at the par-4 seventh and 11th holes, birdied the par-5 13th and added back-to-back birdies at the 15th and 16th holes.
"I didn't do anything amazing," Moore said. "I just did what I've been doing this whole week - put it in play, gave myself a bunch of wedges, 9-irons into greens and was able to convert a bunch of my reasonable birdie chances."
US fan favorite John Daly followed a 63, his best round of the year, with an season-worst 86 to stumble back to 72nd on 218.
Daly, who stands nine spots outside the top 125, had a quadruple bogey, a triple bogey, two double bogeys, six bogeys and two birdies.
"I was just hoping to stop the bleeding," Daly said. "I can't remember when I had such a stretch of bad holes." - AFP