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Lucas Glover shoots 65 to take Shriners Open lead

Rod Pampling’s luck at TPC Summerlin finally ran out Saturday.

The 47-year-old Australian, who had led the first two rounds of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, was passed by Lucas Glover midway through the third. Glover posted a 6-under-par 65 to take the lead entering Sunday’s final round.

Glover has a three-day total of 15-under 198, one shot better than Pampling, who managed to stay close despite coming in at par 71.

Also at 14 under is Brooks Koepka who was tied for the lead briefly late in his round only to make a double bogey at the par-3 17th. Koepka got one of the shots back with a birdie at 18.

“We’re looking at a shootout ahead of us,” Glover said. “I like where I stand, but you’re going to have to play good (Sunday).”

Right behind Glover and Pampling was Russell Henley, who had the day’s best score — 8-under 63 — and is two shots back. Joining Henley at 13 under was Geoff Ogilvy, who shot 66. Six players are 12 under, including former Bonanza High School star Scott Piercy.


 

Glover shot his second straight 65. Early on, he wasn’t looking like he was going to contend, as he wasn’t making up much ground. But then he made birdie at the par-3 No. 8, rolling in a long putt. He followed with an eagle at the par-5 No. 9 and was on his way to the lead.

“That eighth hole was the catapult,” Glover said. “I was having trouble judging the speed (of the greens) over the first seven holes, and on the eighth, I had a nice uphill one that I could get aggressive with. After that, my speed was good the rest of the day.”

Glover had three more birdies on his back nine, including at the par-5 16th. Of the three par-5s at TPC Summerlin, Glover has played the holes a combined 7 under through three rounds.

“If you hit good tee shots, they’re all reachable with irons,” he said. “I haven’t played 13 well (three pars), but the other two I’ve done OK on.”

Pampling’s first-round 11-under 60 was long forgotten. He was 3 under Friday, and he battled to stay below par all day Saturday before finally accepting his fate at 71. At one point, he had dropped to 13 under, only to get back to the top at 15 under with birdies at Nos. 6 and 7.

But he bogeyed the 10th hole, made birdie at No. 13 to get back to 14 under and stayed there the rest of the way.

“We struggled out there,” Pampling said. “We had a couple of putts that could have gone (in) quite easily. It just didn’t happen.”

Like Glover, Pampling had trouble measuring the speed of the greens Saturday.

“They were a touch slower because they’re growing,” he said. “So you get your head around being super firm but then slower.

“I don’t think any of us really putted well in the group. But we’ll definitely take something from that and make sure we get them to the hole (Sunday).”

Koepka was in trouble from the outset. He started the day one shot behind Pampling, but bogeyed his first two holes. He made a third bogey, this time at No. 6, to drop to 10 under.

But he managed to turn things around with a birdie at No. 7, a birdie at No. 10, birdies at the two par-5s (Nos. 13 and 16) as well as at the par-4 15th. Then disaster struck at 17 when he pulled his tee shot and took double bogey.

“As bad as we played, I was kind of happy to be one off the lead,” said Koepka, who said he had found three cracks in the face of his driver that might have contributed to his problems.

It is setting up for a wild finish, and Glover said his plan is to stay patient, then try to capitalize.

‘There’s a lot of birdie holes, and if you don’t jump out early, you can still make hay about anywhere on the course,” he said.

Contact Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913. Follow @stevecarprj on Twitter.

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