Henley, Fritsch still share Chiquita Classic lead
Weddington, NC (Sports Network) - Russell Henley and Brad Fritsch both fired 7-under 65s on Saturday to remain tied for the lead after three rounds of the Chiquita Classic.
The duo finished 54 holes at 20-under-par 196. Henley will go for his second tour win on Sunday, while Fritsch is seeking his first tour victory.
Patrick Cantlay also fired a 65 and he shares third place at minus-15. He stands alongside Morgan Hoffmann, who posted a 66 in round three.
Sunday might setup as a match-play event between the two leaders, but Fritsch cautioned not to overlook Cantlay and Hoffmann.
"Those two guys that are right below us, all I ever see them do is play really well in big events, that is Patrick and Morgan," said Fritsch in an on-course interview. "Golf is crazy, you can't take anything for granted."
Henley had a steady front nine with birdies at two and four that got him to 15-under. He parred the other seven holes on the front side, and Fritsch made his move late on the opening nine.
Fritsch had two bogeys and two birdies in a 5-hole span from the second. He dropped in back-to-back birdie efforts at eight and nine to join Henley atop the leaderboard.
At the 10th, Fritsch rolled in an 18-footer for birdie and the lead. Henley responded with a birdie on the 11th to join Fritsch at minus-16.
The duo both birdied the par-5 12th. Fritsch again moved in front as he drained a 15-footer at the 13th. At the par-3 15th, both made birdie from inside eight feet.
Henley regained a piece of the lead at 16 as his 4-footer found the bottom of the cup. He missed the green at the par-5 17th with his second, but chipped to six feet and rolled that in for birdie.
Fritsch also missed the 17th green to the right. He nearly holed his eagle chip, but settled for a kick-in birdie as they remained tied for the lead.
The pair parred the last to stay tied heading into the final round.
"It was a lot of fun. He made a lot of birdies in the middle of the round, I snuck a few in at the end, and had some good saves as well," Henley said in a televised interview.
"I was just happy to keep up with him. He played so well."
Henley shared second place at the Midwest Classic for his best finish of the year. He knows he'll have to remain aggressive on Sunday.
"Out here, you've got to go pretty low and keep attacking. Cause if you're not attacking someone else is attacking and they're going to beat you," Henley said on TV. "I made that mistake a couple times this year. I'm just going to have to keep attacking and act like I'm seven behind."
Fernando Mechereffe had a 5-under 67 to move into fifth place at 14-under-par 202 at The Club at Longview.
Two-time U.S. Open winner Lee Janzen and defending champion Russell Knox both carded 2-under 70s in round three. They share sixth place with Scott Dunlap (66) and Justin Hicks (68) at 13-under-par 203.
NOTES: Fritsch and Henley are both outside the top 25 on the money list...Fritsch could move to seventh on the money list with a win, while Henley could go as high as No. 11 with a victory...Casey Wittenberg, one of three 2-time winners this season, shares 23rd at minus-9.
09/29 17:48:12 ET