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Hodges weathers storm, takes 4-shot lead

LEE Hodges is riding a four-stroke cushion going into the weekend. | STACY REVERE/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

MINNESOTA (AFP) — Lee Hodges heads into Saturday’s third round of the PGA Tour’s 3M Open with a four-stroke lead after shooting an impressive seven-under-par 64 in Blaine, Minnesota on Friday.

A two-hour rain delay meant that play was suspended at TPC Twin Cities due to darkness, with 11 players still on the course, but none of those still to finish their rounds were within 10 shots of the lead after Hodges birdied four of his final six holes.

Tyler Duncan is nearest to Hodges, on 11-under after his bogey-free 67, while Kevin Streelman, J.T. Poston, defending champion Tony Finau and Brandt Snedeker are all five shots behind Hodges.

Overnight leader Hodges was two-under for the day when play was suspended and returned to drain a 25-foot birdie putt at the ninth hole to seize the solo lead.

He then produced an immaculate back nine with back-to-back birdies on 13 and 14 and ended in style with a birdie on the par-3 17th and then the par-5 18th.

Hodges, chasing a first US PGA Tour title, is 74th in the FedExCup standings, with the top 70 heading into the playoffs next month.

“I know where I’m at, but trying harder or changing what I’m doing’s not going to make me play better or anything like that. I’m just going to keep doing what I’ve been doing and see how it turns out,” said the 28-year-old from Alabama.

“With my caddie… we’ve committed to every shot we’ve hit so far, which has been great. We’ll continue to do it, because what do we have to lose?” he added.

Streelman and Poston shared the clubhouse lead at 10-under when the storm rolled through.

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