Gay stretches lead to three

Brian Gay strengthened his lead at the Verizon Heritage with a bogey-free third round four-under-par 67 at Harbour Town Golf Links in South Carolina.

Brian Gay strengthened his lead at the Verizon Heritage with a bogey-free third round four-under-par 67 at Harbour Town Golf Links in South Carolina.

American Gay battled testing wind conditions to increase his advantage to three shots after moving onto 13-under-par after shipping just one bogey over 54 holes this week.

Australia’s Tim Wilkinson carded a six under 65 to move into second place on 10 under, while Lee Janzen improved by two strokes with a 69 to take third place at nine under as he looks to claim his first Tour win since the 1998 US Open.

Former Open champion Todd Hamilton, who began the day a shot behind Gay on eight under, signed for a level 71 to slip to fourth place heading into the final round.

Fellow Americans Briny Baird (65) and Davis Love III (69) lie in a tie for fifth, while Tim Petrovic, Tom Lehman and Germany’s Alex Cejka are tied for seventh on six under.

Luke Donald, who also shot a six-under-par 65, is one of three players tied for 10th place on five under alongside Argentina’s Jose Coceres and Bob Estes, while Spain’s Jose Maria Olazabal is at four under following a third round 70.

Australians Rod Pampling, Nick O’Hern and Aaron Baddeley as well as American Justin Leonard are on three under, with Charlie Wi of Korea, South African trio Trevor Immelman, Tim Clark and Rory Sabbatini, Australians Peter Lonard and Nathan Green and Jeev Milkha Singh of India all a shot further back.

Ernie Els took a six at the par-four ninth and a seven at the par-five 15th on the way to a 73, while Paul Casey finished on a high note with an eagle three at the 15th to help him to a 69 and take the Englishman to one under with the South African.

England’s Greg Owen had been three under for the day after nine holes but two bogeys and two double bogeys sent him to a 74, one over for the week, while Ireland’s Rory McIlroy continued to find Harbour Town a struggle as the Dubai Desert Classic winner shot a one over 72 to finish at two over and without a sub-par round to his name this week.

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