Curtis extends lead at Texas Open
San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) - Ben Curtis stumbled to a pair of double- bogeys on Saturday, but still managed to extend his lead to three strokes after 54 holes of the Texas Open.
Curtis managed a one-over 73 to finish three rounds at nine-under-par 207. He will go for his fourth PGA Tour title on Sunday.
Matt Every also shot 73 to slip to minus-six on the AT&T Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio. He is alone in second and is chasing his first PGA Tour title.
John Huh was in the first group out Saturday morning and he fired a five-under 67 to match Matt Kuchar for the low round of the day. Huh soared 37 places into a share of third place at four-under-par 212. He was joined there by Charlie Wi (71) and Seung-yul Noh (68).
The third round is known as moving day in golf. On this day, most of the moving was the wrong direction as just 19 of the 81 players that made the cut broke par. With the tough conditions, the final group took nearly six hours to complete their third round.
Of the nine players in the final three groups, Wi was the only player to shoot under par.
Kuchar, who leapt 41 places into a tie for sixth, stands alongside Brian Gay (71), Greg Chalmers (69), David Mathis (77) and Cameron Tringale (76) at minus-three.
Curtis dumped his approach shot in a bunker on the first and left his third shot in the sand as well. He found the green with his fourth, then two-putted for a double-bogey, which dropped him into a share of the lead with Mathis at minus-eight.
The former British Open champion came right back with a five-foot birdie putt to regain the lead. Curtis ran off five consecutive pars from the third before more trouble at the eighth.
Curtis pulled his drive left of the fairway into a native area. He barely moved his second, then played his third to an adjoining fairway. Curtis just missed the green with his fourth, but needed two more to get down.
His second double-bogey dropped Curtis to minus-seven, but he still led by one as the closest competitors were also struggling.
Around the turn, Curtis poured in a 31-footer for birdie on the 10th to move back to minus-eight. He ran home a 15-foot birdie effort on No. 14, but gave that stroke right back with a bogey on the 15th.
The 34-year-old Curtis found sand on the drivable 17th, but blasted to two feet and kicked that in for birdie. He parred the last to lead by three.
"It's so tough out there right now, you've just got to stay mentally strong," Curtis said. "I'm just happy I hung in there. I didn't drive it my best. I made some putts when I needed to."
Every, who has three top-eight finishes and five missed cuts this year, started his round with a 10-foot birdie putt on the third. He gave that stroke back with a three-putt bogey on the sixth.
The 28-year-old failed to save par from a bunker on the seventh and suddenly was back to six-under. He parred six in a row from the eighth.
Every got up and down for birdie on the par-five 14th, but faltered to a bogey on the 15th. He parred the final three holes to end alone in second.
"One-over is not really that bad out here today especially if you're not hitting it well," Every admitted. "I didn't hit it very good today. But, maybe, that's my bad round and I get it out of the way without checking myself out of the tournament."
University of Texas freshman Jordan Spieth dropped five shots in his last six holes to slide back to plus-one for the tournament. He shot even-par 72 on Saturday.
NOTES: Curtis has won two of the previous four times he owned at least a piece of the 54-hole lead...Eight of the last 12 54-hole leaders at this event went on to win, but just six of 15 third-round leaders have held on to win this year on the PGA Tour...With 81 players making it to the weekend, there was a secondary cut that took five players out of the field for the final round.
04/21 20:16:09 ET