White Sulphur Springs – Billy Hurley fired a three-under 67 on Saturday to hold a two-shot lead at the Greenbrier Classic over Angel Cabrera, who is seeking his first victory since claiming the 2009 Masters.
American Hurley, who led by one shot after the second round, finished 54 holes at 12-under-par 198 at the $6.5 million tournament. Hurley has yet to win on the PGA Tour and has never held a 54-hole lead.
“I played nicely today and I look forward to doing it again tomorrow,” said Hurley, who is seeking to become the 10th first-time winner on the Tour this season.
“The goal is to get the trophy. I have been working for a long time to try and win on the PGA Tour so hopefully I can get it done tomorrow.”
Two-time major champion Cabrera is also hoping to end a long winless drought. He rocketed up the leaderboard after firing a six-under 64.
Cabrera, 44, has history on his side heading into Sunday’s final round at The Old White course as the past two winners of the event have rallied from four shots back.
“I hit it really good off the tee. I am very happy,” said the former dirt poor caddie from Argentina.
Cabrera, who has a reputation for only winning majors, started and finished strong Saturday. He had four birdies on his first six holes. He also birdied 16 and 17 before closing with a par.
Cabrera’s Masters triumph came two years after he captured his first major title at the 2007 US Open. He has just three wins on the European Tour with his most recent being the 2005 BMW Championship.
Cabrera came close at last year’s Masters, losing in a sudden death playoff to Australia’s Adam Scott.
His round included a 28-foot birdie putt on the par-four 16th and he made a nice par save on 14. He is making his first appearance at the Greenbrier.
“That was very important because I had just made bogey on 13,” he said of the par save on the 401-yard 14th. “
In 16 starts this season on the US Tour, Cabrera’s best finish is a tie for 11th at the Travelers Championship. He hopes this is a sign he is returning to form after having just one top-20 finish this year.
“I hit it solid,” he said.
Kevin Chappell managed a one-under 69 in round three and is alone in third at nine-under-par 201.
Michael Thompson and Cameron Tringale both fired 64s on Saturday. They were joined in fourth place at eight under by Joe Durant (66), Steve Stricker (68), Camilo Villegas (67), Chris Stroud (70) and Will Wilcox (65).
Defending champion Jonas Blixt, of Sweden, posted a two-under 68 and he has a share of 19th at five-under 205.
USA Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson shot 68 for the second straight round. He is tied for 43rd at three-under 207. – Sapa-AFP