WASHINGTON: PGA Tour rookie Sebastian Munoz fired a two-under 68 on Saturday to maintain his lead at the Greenbrier Classic as he seeks to become the first wire-to-wire winner of the event.
Munoz reached 14-under 196 and had a two-shot lead over Robert Streb, of the US, who shot a five-under 65 and was alone in second place at the Old White TPC course in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.
“I think I had a good round today by the way I just hit the ball from the tee again,” he said. “A lot of missed fairways in the first nine. Then we kind of managed to settle in with a couple clutch putts, save par, and good chips.”
Americans Xander Schauffele and Jamie Love, who both shot 66, were tied for third place at 11-under 199, just three shots back of Munoz.
Kelly Kraft (67), Russell Henley (68) and 53-year-old Davis Love (68) were tied for fifth at 10-under 200.
The 24-year-old Munoz is hoping to join compatriot Camilo Villegas as the only Colombians to win on the USPGA Tour.
Villegas has won four times on the Tour, including the 2008 Tour Championship and the 2014 Wyndham Championship.
Munoz’s opened his week with a record setting 61 that marked the lowest first round score in tournament history.
But he will have to battle tournament past to claim his first victory as the Greenbrier Classic has never had a first, second or third round leader go on to win.
Munoz rolled in four birdies on Saturday to raise his three round birdie total to a tournament-leading 19.
He began his Saturday round with a birdie on the par-four opening hole but then ran into trouble on the front nine with bogeys on No. 2 and No. 5.
He made birdie on the par-four sixth and then added two more birdies (13th and 15th) on the back nine. He finished with two bogeys and 12 pars.
“I try to play boring golf. I try to hit the fairway and hit the greens,” Munoz said. “Even though I try, I just seem to put myself into some trouble and then trying to make something happen and then kind of get on a good run, sometimes bad runs.”
Munoz will be paired with the 30-year-old Streb in the final round on Sunday.
This is Streb’s fourth start at the Greenbrier Classic with his best finish coming in 2015 when he tied for second.
Love could become the oldest winner on the PGA Tour in his 741st tournament if he is able to come from behind in the final round.
Sam Snead holds the record at 52 years, 10 months and eight days at the 1965 Wyndham Championship.--AFP