Narrow advantage for Gay

Brian Gay gave up a shot at the final hole to leave him with a slender lead as he chased a second PGA Tour victory of the year at the St Jude Classic today.

Brian Gay gave up a shot at the final hole to leave him with a slender lead as he chased a second PGA Tour victory of the year at the St Jude Classic today.

The American won the Verizon Heritage on Hilton Head Island in April by 10 shots from Luke Donald and Briny Baird but he will only take a one-shot lead into today's final round in Memphis.

Gay carded his only bogey of the third round a the par-four 18th to give him a 66, four-under for the day, to move to 14-under par at the par-70 TPC Southwind, with fellow American Bryce Molder on 13-under after a birdie at the last for a 65 while Australia's Robert Allenby was a further two shots behind following a 68.

The leading trio will play together on Sunday in the final group with the field divided once again into threesomes with more severe weather forecast in Tennessee.

Paul Goydos of the United States is in fourth place on 10-under following a second consecutive round of 64, while his compatriots Woody Austin, Heath Slocum and Vaughn Taylor are at nine-under with two-time winner David Toms and Bob Estes lying a shot behind them.

Sweden's Fredrik Jacobson will start the final round as the leading European on a day when Ryder Cup stars Padraig Harrington, Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson missed the halfway cut at the completion of the weather-delayed second round.

Jacobson is eight shots off the pace in a tie for 10th place at seven-under-par following a third-round 67 while Ireland's Graeme McDowell shot a one-under 69.

That got him to four under and in a tie for 23rd place alongside world number two Phil Mickelson, who endured a bumpy, three bogey, two birdie front nine on the way to two-under 68.

Mickelson, returning to the tour for the first time since his wife Amy was diagnosed with breast cancer last month, said he was looking for a little more momentum on Sunday as he prepared for next week's US Open.

"I want to get out tomorrow and get a hot hand," Mickelson said.

"I feel like I've been hitting some good shots but haven't been following up with many putts. If I can make some putts, it will give me momentum heading into next week."

Of the remaining Europeans in the field, Mathias Gronberg of Sweden fell to two-under for the week after 72 while Spain's Jose Maria Olazabal shot a 74 to slip to level-par after 54 holes.

Harrington suffered a further blow to his preparations for next week's US Open when he missed the cut.

The reigning Open and US PGA champion joined fellow world top-20 players Garcia and Stenson in making an early exit.

Ireland's Harrington, ranked 11th in the world, had been one of 78 players unable to complete his second round in Memphis on Friday after play had been suspended for the day when tournament officials received severe weather warnings.

He returned to the course early on Saturday standing at two-over with three holes to play and with the cutline projected at level par. A bogey, bogey, par finish put paid to hopes he would be returning later for the third round.

Harrington finished with a second consecutive 72 to exit at four-over, thus missing the cut for the second week in a row.

World number four Garcia failed to get any momentum going heading to Bethpage, New York, for the second major of the year.

A second-round 73, completed Friday, left the Spaniard at three over and he was joined by a number of other disappointed Europeans, including Players champion Stenson, the world number six shooting a 75 to finish at eight over par for the week at the par-70 TPC Southwind course.

Richard Johnson of Wales undid his opening 67 with a second-round 77 while Swedish namesake Richard S Johnson added a 72 to a 71 that added up to an early exit.

Fellow Swedes Jesper Parnevik and Carl Petterson also went home early as did Scotland's Martin Laird, who missed the cut by one stroke following rounds of 70 and 71.

A second-round 69 from Justin Leonard could not prevent the defending champion from bowing out.

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