(Reuters) – Sebastian Munoz’s hot putter earned the Colombian a two-shot lead after the third round at the Greenbrier Classic on Saturday, while Davis Love III stayed in the hunt to become the oldest winner on the PGA Tour.
After getting a putting tip from fellow pro Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño on the eve of the tournament, Munoz sank three putts from 25 feet or longer, including a confidence-booster at the first hole, en route to two-under-par 68 at the Old White TPC in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.
Munoz is within sight of his first victory in only 12 PGA Tour starts and would become the second Colombian champion on Tour after four-time winner Camilo Villegas.
He posted a 14-under 196 total, two strokes better than Robert Streb (65) and three clear of Xander Schauffele and Jamie Lovemark.
Four strokes behind is Love, who at 53 years and two months is seeking to supplant Sam Snead as the oldest player to win on the Tour. Snead was 52 years, 10 months and eight days when he won in Greensboro in 1965.
Munoz said his strategy was to keep it simple.
“I try to play boring golf,” said Munoz. “I try to hit the fairway and hit the greens.
Munoz said he had kept his telephone turned off since Thursday in an effort to avoid distractions.
“I’m with a buddy this week and he let me use his phone to call my mom and my girlfriend and maybe two or three people.”
And as much as he would like to win, Munoz acknowledged a victory by Love would be special.
“I think it would be awesome if he wins,” Munoz said.
Love said he would have a chance on Sunday if he got hot on the greens.
“If I’d putted a bit better today I’d be right in it,” Love, a winner 21 times on the Tour, said after a 68.
“If I get the putter hot tomorrow I think I’ll have a chance. I’ve hit a lot of shots close to the hole this week. I’m giving myself a lot of opportunities.”
(Reporting by Andrew Both, Editing by Peter Rutherford)