American Cameron Champ, who is playing this week with a heavy heart, fired a bogey-free five-under 67 to seize a three shot lead after the third round of the PGA Tour’s Safeway Open.
Champ rolled in five birdies on Saturday as he seeks his second title on the US Tour after winning the Sanderson Farms Championship last year.
He has a 14-under 202 total at the Silverado Country Club course in Napa, California.
“I am executing everything,” Champ said. “I am not making the little mistakes I was before.
“I felt like I left something out there last two or three holes.”
Champ is three strokes ahead of last week’s Sanderson Farms winner Sebastian Munoz (67) and Adam Hadwin (67) and Nick Taylor (70).
Former PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas is a stroke further back following his one-under 71.
Champ’s grandfather, Mack, is in hospice battling stomach cancer. The family has been dividing their time between the hospital in Sacramento and the nearby Napa golf course.
“It’s been a pretty emotional week,” Champ said after battling the windy conditions on Saturday. “He just made me realize there’s a lot more to life than golf.”
Defending champion Kevin Tway missed the cut by just one shot after ending second round with a bogey on No. 18.
Phil Mickelson also fell below the cutline in his season debut with a 69 on Friday.
Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo saw his bid to make a PGA cut fall apart on the front nine Friday. Romo, playing the tournament on a sponsor’s exemption, made bogeys on six of his first nine holes. Romo, who shot a two-under-par 70 on Thursday, finished his Friday round at six-over 78.
Akshay Bhatia, 17, who was making his second PGA start, also missed the cut with a four-over 76 on Friday.
The Tour heads to Las Vegas next week for the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
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