Garrigus' lead down to 1 at Valspar Championship
Palm Harbor, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Robert Garrigus carded a 1-under 70 on Saturday and finished three rounds one stroke clear of the field at the Valspar Championship.
Garrigus, who lead by three after two rounds, ended 54 holes at 8-under-par 205. He will go for his second PGA Tour title on Sunday.
Kevin Na inched within one of the lead thanks to his 3-under 68. He ended three rounds at minus-7. Na and Garrigus were in the final group on Saturday, and were both put on the clock. After that, they each had a single bad time. Another bad time would have been a 1-stroke penalty for the offending player.
John Senden, who shared second place at this event in 2008, fired a 7-under 64 on the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook and jumped into third place at 6-under 207. Reigning U.S. Open champion Justin Rose carded a 2-under 69 and is alone in fourth at 5-under 208.
Retief Goosen, the 2009 winner, made the cut on the number, then fired a 64 in round three and soared into a tie for fifth place at 4-under 209. He was joined there by Charley Hoffman (67) and Scott Langley (69).
Matteo Manassero (71), Jason Kokrak (68) and 2012 champion Luke Donald (67) share eighth place at minus-3.
Garrigus got off to a quick start as he drained a 14-footer for birdie on one and an 11-foot birdie try on two. He was three clear of a hard-charging Senden at that point.
The 2010 Children's Miracle Network Classic winner sank a 13-foot birdie putt on the par-5 fifth to push his lead to four. That was also his 10th straight birdie on the par-5s this week.
Garrigus cruised around the turn with six pars in a row. The sixth was on a par-5, which ended his streak of birdieing every par-5 for the week.
The 2012 runner-up missed a short par putt on the 12th and his lead was down to three over Senden. After five pars in a row, including another on a par-5, Garrigus pulled a 6-foot par putt at the last and tapped in for a closing bogey.
"This is the position you want. You want to be there, you want to be in contention. I missed that little one on the last hole, and the one on 12 or whatever it was, those were two bad strokes. I didn't start them where I wanted to," Garrigus stated. "Those were the first two bad ones all week. They were my first bad strokes and that's probably why I'm in the lead."
Na had a steady front nine with a birdie at the first and another on the ninth to make the turn at minus-6.
The 30-year-old, who won the 2011 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, failed to get up and down for par on the 10th after coming up short with his approach. That was his first bogey of the week.
Na bounced back with a 3-foot birdie putt on No. 11. After three pars in a row, Na chipped in for birdie on the 15th to move to minus-7, where was two back. He ended at 7-under as he closed with three pars in a row.
"Thought I played very well today. The front nine, I felt like I hit it pretty great. Didn't hit too many bad shots," Na said. "The back nine I felt like I had a few bad swings out there, but luckily my short game was right there to keep me in it."
NOTES: Garrigus has the 54-hole lead for the fourth time on the PGA Tour. He finished in second place in each of the previous three events ... Defending champion Kevin Streelman managed an even-par 71 and ended 54 holes at even-par 213 ... There was a secondary cut after Saturday's round, and eight players missed that cut. Those eight ended three rounds at plus-6 or worse.
03/15 20:09:15 ET