On a day of low scoring, Brooks Koepka kept up his end of the bargain and stayed in the lead at the Frys.com Open in San Martin, Calif.
In his first regular PGA Tour event, Koepka rolled in two birdie putts to start his round Saturday and drove the par-4 17th green and two-putted for another birdie. It added to a 4-under 67 and a two-shot lead over George McNeill and Jason Kokrak going into the final round at CordeValle.
A win would mean more than just a trip to the Masters for Koepka.
The 23-year-old Floridian started the year with no status on any tour, and since then has earned membership on the Challenge Tour and European Tour. A victory Sunday would give him a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour, and keep him from having to reload the pages in his passport. He already has played in 15 countries this year, with three victories on the Challenge Tour.
THOMPSON IN FRONT
Lexi Thompson moved into position for her second LPGA Tour title, shooting a 5-under 66 to take a three-stroke lead over South Korea’s Ilhee Lee (70) in the LPGA Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur.
The 18-year-old American, the 2011 Navistar LPGA Classic winner, had five birdies in her bogey-free round to reach 17-under 196 at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club. She opened with rounds of 67 and 63.
Norway’s Suzann Pettersen and China’s Shanshan Feng, the winner last week in Beijing, were third at 11 under.
Russ Cochran shot his second straight 6-under 66 to take a two-stroke lead over the trio of defending champion Bernhard Langer (67), Moses Lake native Kirk Triplett (67) and David Frost (67) after the second round of the Champions Tour’s SAS Championship in Cary, N.C. Scotland’s Scott Jamieson matched the European Tour record with a bogey-free 11-under 60 to join three others who were two strokes back of leader Paul Waring (13-under 197) after the third round of the Portugal Masters in Vilamoura.
This week: Frys.com Open, Thursday through Sunday, CordeValle Golf Club, San Martin, Calif.
Third-round score: 2-under-par 69.
Position: The Capital High School graduate is at 8-under 205 and tied for 20th, seven strokes behind leader Brooks Koepka (15-under 198).
Recap: A day after making 10 birdies, Gonzales made six of them Saturday and at one point was at 10 under for the tournament after a birdie at No. 8 (9-foot putt). But he made three bogeys over his next six holes to fall back.
Tee time Sunday: 10:55 a.m. off the first firstname.lastname@example.org