(Reuters) – Ryan Armour fired a five-under-par 67 to surge five strokes clear of the field after the third round at the Sanderson Farms Championships in Mississippi on Saturday.
Armour, who has never won on the PGA Tour, had eight birdies in the round but three consecutive bogies from the fifth hole cost him a sparkling score as he ended the day at 15-under 201.
Chesson Hadley is in second place on 10-under after a 68 with a logjam of five another stroke back at The Country Club of Jackson. Scott Strohmeyer (68), Beau Hossler (69) Vaughn Taylor (71) Canadian Ben Silverman (69) and Ireland’s Seamus Power (71) are all on nine-under 207.
“It’s been going good,” Armour told reporters. “Hit fairways, hit greens, make putts. Seems to work.”
Armour remained accurate despite the wind and cooler conditions, hitting 12 of 14 fairways and 13 of 18 greens in regulation.
The 41-year-old started the day with back-to-back birdies, dropped three shots in a row from the fifth, then got one back at the eighth to make the turn at even par for the round.
The back nine was much kinder for Armour though as he birdied the 10th and ran off four more from the 13th including a 57-foot putt at the par-four 16th.
A 15-foot putt for par at the 18th completed his round.
“That was big,” Armour told reporters “… With the shadows coming over from the grandstands, we couldn’t really tell if it was up or down, couldn’t tell the grain, anything. To make it is huge.”
The former Ohio State University golfer’s only professional victory came on the Web.com tour lat year.
(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford)