Varner, Kraft tied for lead at Greenbrier in West Virginia

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08 Jul 2018, 05:05 IST
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WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. (AP) — Harold Varner and Kelly Kraft want to add to the crop of first-time winners on the PGA Tour in West Virginia.

Varner shot a Four-under 66 Saturday to tie Kraft on the prime getting into the ultimate spherical of A Army Tribute at The Greenbrier.

Each are in search of their first tour wins of their 85th begins. Since this match debuted in 2010, there have been 4 first-time champions, however no third-round chief has gained.

“I want we may go play proper now,” Varner mentioned. “I am fairly hungry. That is what you’re employed for. That is what I get so pumped as much as do.”

Varner had 4 back-nine birdies after 10 consecutive pars to catch Kraft, the second-round chief who let a four-stroke lead slip away and shot 1-under 69.

Each had been at 14-under 196.

Varner’s finest end on tour was a tie for fifth on the OHL Basic in Mexico in 2016. He has one top-10 end in every of the previous two years and gained the Australian PGA Championship in 2016.

“I suppose this entire factor’s new to me as a result of I’ve by no means had a lead going into the final day,” Varner mentioned. “However I do not actually lack confidence. That is by no means actually been an issue. I simply have to decelerate and take all of it in. As a result of there’s going to be one thing that occurs tomorrow the place I can study and I can develop and I can get lots higher. So it goes again to maintaining it in perspective.

“That was deep. Sorry.”

Kraft, who completed fifth in final 12 months’s match, refused to get down on himself regardless of bogeys on two of his ultimate three holes Saturday.

“I am simply going to remain affected person tomorrow,” he mentioned. “I hit numerous good photographs at this time.”

Fifteen golfers had been inside 5 photographs of the lead. The match has been determined by two or fewer strokes yearly and has gone to a playoff 3 times. The 2016 match was canceled after devastating floods.

The Outdated White TPC dried out on a sunny Saturday and scores weren’t as little as the primary two days when rains softened the course and yielded eight rounds of 63 or higher.

Kraft had a one-stroke lead getting into the spherical, the primary time he is led after 36 holes on the PGA Tour.

He parred each gap on the entrance 9 Saturday and his lead improved to 4 after birdie putts of 19 toes at No. 10 and 5 toes at No. 12 and holing a 40-foot pitch shot at No. 11.

Then he discovered two bunkers on the par-5 16th and made bogey, and located the greenside bunker and missed a 5-foot par putt on the par-Three 18th.

Kraft mentioned he struggled judging the pace of his putts.

“The greens acquired actually sort of crusty and arduous on the market, completely different than the primary couple days,” Kraft mentioned. “And particularly on the again 9, there have been two or three greens that had been simply — they had been borderline rolling too quick.”

Defending champion Xander Schauffele and Kevin Na had been at 13 beneath. Each shot 65. Sam Saunders was alone in fifth place at 12 beneath after a 67.

Bubba Watson shot 65 and was amongst three gamers at 11 beneath. Watson hopes so as to add this match to his three different wins this season.

Watson desires to honor his late father, Gerry, a Inexperienced Beret who fought within the Vietnam Struggle. Watson owns a trip dwelling at The Greenbrier Sporting Membership. He and his spouse, Angie, contributed considerably each in cash and in volunteer work throughout native aid efforts after June 2016 floods killed 23 folks statewide and compelled the match to be canceled two weeks later.

“Huge day tomorrow,” Watson mentioned.

Anirban Lahiri of India and Webb Simpson trailed Kraft by a stroke getting into the third spherical. Lahiri was bogey-free over the primary two rounds however bogeyed the primary two holes Saturday, shot 71 and dropped three strokes behind. Simpson shot 76 to fall eight strokes again.

The highest 4 gamers not already exempt among the many prime 12 finishers will earn spots within the British Open at Carnoustie beginning July 19.

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