García shot a four-under-par 66 on Saturday to take the lead at 14-under 196 after three rounds at the Wyndham Championship.
It’s a familiar spot for García, who shared the third-round lead in 2009 but wound up finishing fourth after falling a stroke shy of a three-man playoff.
“Eighteen pars are not going to win it,” García said. “You have to make some birdies out there.
“I don’t have a number. I’m not going to say I need to shoot four under, five under, or whatever. Someone might go out and shoot nine under, and five under’s not good enough.”
Tim Clark and Bud Cauley were a stroke back, and Jason Dufner, Harris English and Carl Pettersson were at 12 under in the last event before the FedEx Cup playoffs.
Dufner shot a 63, the day’s best round. Cauley had a 66, Clark a 67, and English and Pettersson 68s.
García, whose second-round 63 was his best on the PGA Tour in a decade, is trying to claim his first tour victory since 2008 and strengthen his chances to make the European Ryder Cup team.
“Winning means a lot, no matter what,” García said.
HUSTON TOPS CHAMPIONS EVENT Through two rounds at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open, John Huston, the defending champion, is playing a lot like he did last year when he won his lone Champions Tour title.
His drives are still off the mark, but his putts are right on target. In the final round a year ago, though, he started hitting the ball off the tee the way he wanted and cruised to a three-stroke victory.
“Hopefully, that’ll happen again because it would certainly make it a lot easier,” Huston said.
Huston shot a five-under 67 at En-Joie Golf Club in Endicott, N.Y., to lead at 12 under par. He had a one-stroke lead over Brad Faxon, who shot a 66.
A day after heavy rain delayed the first round, play resumed Saturday on a sun-drenched and dried-out course.
Huston had to finish the final three holes of his first round Saturday, and he couldn’t have asked for a better way to start. He pitched in from about 30 yards on the par-4 16th for an eagle, then went on to par the final two holes of his first round.
He rode the momentum into the start of his second round about two hours later.
On the par-5 third hole, Huston chipped within 2 feet and made the putt for birdie. Two holes later, he drove the ball into the trees, but chipped it out with a pitching wedge onto the green to about 12 feet and two-putted for another birdie.
Huston finished the round with six birdies and one bogey.
U.S. AMATEUR FINAL SET Michael Weaver opened a big lead, then hung on to beat Justin Thomas, 3 and 2, to advance to the final in the U.S. Amateur at Cherry Hills in Colorado.
Weaver, from Fresno, Calif., and the University of California, will face Steven Fox, a Tennessee-Chattanooga senior from Hendersonville, Tenn., on Sunday in the 36-hole championship. Fox beat Brandon Hagy, Weaver’s teammate at Cal, 2-up. Thomas, from Goshen, Ky., plays at Alabama.
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