George McNeill moved into a strong position for his first PGA Tour title as the rookie carded a five-under-par 67 to open up a five-shot lead after Saturday’s third round of the Frys.com Open.
The 32-year-old, who was working as an assistant pro in Fort Myers last year, had two bogeys in his first five holes at TPC at Summerlin on Saturday in the USD but managed to offset them with seven birdies.
At 18-under 197, McNeill has a five-shot advantage over Robert Garrigus and DJ Trahan.
McNeill led by three shots after 12 holes and got hot down the stretch, posting birdies on the 13th, 16th and 18th to add to his lead.
Despite the big advantage, McNeill does not anticipate changing the approach that has worked so well for three rounds.
“My approach to playing (Sunday) will be the same as it was the first day and today. I know what kind of shots I need to hit off the tees and where I need to put it on the greens,” McNeill said.
“My mentality is to just keep the pedal down. If I can win by 20, I hope I do. If I win by one it’s still a win. I’m going to do my best to make it the other, try and win by as many as you can. I don’t want it to be close.
“I want to go ahead and stick the knife in and get it going. If I can get off to a great start, more power to it. If not, maybe I’ll do something like today. I was kind of putzing around and then played pretty well on the back nine and separated myself.”
Garrigus signed for a four-under 68 and Trahan an even-par 72 to get to 13-under 202.
Kent Jones (68), Bo Van Pelt (68), John Huston (72) and Garrett Willis (73) are tied for fourth at 12-under 203.