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Cantlay, Kim share lead

LOS ANGELES (AFP) — Patrick Cantlay matched the course record with an 11-under par 60 to share the lead with South Korean Kim Joo-hyung after Saturday’s third round of the PGA Shriners Children’s Open.

The 30-year-old American missed a birdie putt from just outside 24 feet on the 18th hole to foil his bid for a 59 but settled for matching his career-best PGA round to stand on 19-under 194 after 54 holes at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas.

“All in all I played really good today and needed to get into position to win this tournament,” Cantlay said.

“I just made all those mid-range putts, the 10-footers for birdie, I made most all of them. I hit pretty much every green. I hit the ball really well and had a bunch of looks and made most of them.”

Cantlay also fired a 60 in 2011 at the Travelers Championship, shooting the lowest round by an amateur in PGA history.

“I was pretty happy,” Cantlay said.

“I hit good putts all day.”

Kim, in the final group, birdied six of the last eight holes on his way to a bogey-free 62 and equaled Cantlay atop the leaderboard by making a birdie putt from just inside three feet at the 18th hole.

“I played really solid, took care of what I needed to take care of,” Kim said.

“I’m really pleased with it and gave myself a chance on Sunday. This course is really gettable and I have a good game plan.”

Kim, the only player without a bogey all week, would break the record of Tiger Woods to become the youngest winner of multiple PGA titles with a Vegas victory.

Woods, a 15-time major winner, was nine months past his 20th birthday when he won his first two PGA titles in 1996, the first of them in Vegas.

If he wins, Kim would be 20 years and three months old when he collects his second PGA crown, after taking his first at Greensboro in August.

“There’s a lot of golf left to be played,” Kim said.

“We haven’t run away with it. I have to play well tomorrow.”

With six birdies on the front nine, Cantlay matched his career-low nine-hole score with an opening 29, his fifth 29 for nine in a PGA event.

“I have a good game plan for this golf course,” Cantlay said.

“I hit a bunch of drivers. If you play from the fairway you can have a ton of looks and I hope to have that again tomorrow.”

Cantlay, last year’s FedEx Cup playoff winner, seeks his third PGA title of the year after the BMW Championship in August and April’s pairs event in New Orleans with pal Xander Schauffele.

Cantlay birdied the first four holes on putts from just inside six feet to just outside nine feet, added another at six when his approach landed inches from the hole and also birdied the par-5 ninth after driving the green in two.

He birdied the 12th from just inside five feet and the par-5 13th and par-4 15th from about seven feet to reach 9-under.
Cantlay was just short on a 17-foot curling eagle putt at the par-5 16th but tapped in for birdie and said that’s when he began pondering 59, the second-best round in PGA history after Jim Furyk’s record 58.
“I left that putt a little short, right in the heart,” Cantlay said.
At the par-3 17th, Cantlay curled in his longest putt of the day from 12 feet 8 inches for birdie.
At hole 18, Cantlay left himself a curling birdie putt from just outside 24 feet to shoot 59 but the ball went past the hole and he tapped in for a closing par.
“I would like to have made it,” he said.
Chile’s Mito Pereira and American Matthew NeSmith were three back, sharing third on 197, with South Koreans Im Sung-jae and Kim Seong-hyeon on 198.

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