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Curran leads by 4 in Brazil
Sao Paulo, Brazil (SportsNetwork.com) - Jon Curran posted a 6-under 65 on Saturday and completed three rounds of the Brasil Champions four strokes clear of the field.
Curran ended 54 holes at 23-under-par 190. Though lift, clean and place rules were effect for the first two rounds, his total crushed the previous 54-hole mark of 196, which Benjamin Alvarado set last year. It also matched the tour record for low 54 holes.
Alex Cejka, who won last month in Colombia, fired an 8-under 63 and jumped into a share of second place at minus-19. He was joined there by Ash Hall, who matched Curran's 65 in the third round.
Oscar Fraustro shot 67 and is alone in fourth at 15-under 198. Daniel Berger managed an even-par 71 and dropped from second place into a share of fifth at minus-14 at Sao Paulo Golf Club.
Berger was joined there by Tom Gillis (68), Philip Pettitt, Jr. (65) and Jonathan Fricke (66).
The second and third rounds were both completed on Saturday. The first two rounds both had weather delays, pushing the completion of round two to Saturday morning.
Curran, who has led since an opening-round 61, dropped in back-to-back birdie chances at two and three, both from four feet out. He traded a birdie on the sixth for a bogey on the seventh.
The 27-year-old tour rookie converted a birdie try on the par-3 ninth to make the turn at 20-under. He started the back nine with three straight pars.
Curran birdied the par-5 13th before making par on the next two holes. He posted back-to-back birdies at 16 and 17 to get to 23-under, and he parred the last to end there.
"I had never had a lead that big before so it was important to stay patient. There are a lot of birdies to be had and you can't get ahead of yourself. You've just got to plod along," Curran said. "The times I've seen the leaderboards this week, it hasn't bothered me. Sometimes you can see it and you can get a little nervous or a little jolt of energy, but every time I've seen it this week it doesn't really register, which is good and where I want to be mentally."
Cejka flew up the leaderboard as he birdied eight of the first 13 holes. He birdied the first and second, then birdied the sixth and eighth to get to minus-15. Cejka poured in four consecutive birdie chances from the 10th, and the 59 watch was on.
The 42-year-old closed with five pars in a row to end four back.
Hall had a birdie and six pars through six holes. He converted three straight birdie tries from the eighth to move to 17-under. Hall bogeyed the 11th, then traded a birdie for a bogey from the 13th. The Australian jumped into a share of second with three birdies in the last four holes.
NOTES: Curran has the 54-hole lead for the first time in his Web.com Tour career ... David Branshaw posted 190 in the first three rounds of the 2002 Gila River Golf Classic.
03/15 18:20:38 ET