White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. — Davis Love believes his experience might give him an edge as he tries to become the PGA Tour’s oldest winner at age 53. First, he must surpass several others, including a rookie trying to become the first wire-to-wire winner in The Greenbrier Classic.
Sebastian Munoz shot a 2-under 68 on Saturday to maintain a two-stroke lead over Robert Streb after the third round. The 24-year-old Colombian was at 14-under 196 at Old White TPC. Streb shot a 65.
Love was tied with two others at 10 under after a 68 with four players ahead of him. The two-time Ryder Cup captain who will enter the World Golf Hall of Fame in September likes his chances Sunday.
“Under the pressure, I know how to handle things,” Love said. “I’ve seen some guys this week kind of go up and down and make some rookie mistakes, including myself. I’m going to make mistakes too, but hopefully the experience will pay off.”
At No. 221 in the FedEx Cup standings, Love wants to make the season-ending playoffs and is among those trying to qualify for the British Open in two weeks. The leading four players not already exempt from the top-12 finishers will earn spots. Russell Henley is the only player in the top 10 who has already qualified.
Sam Snead won the last of his eight titles at Greensboro in 1965 at 52 years, 10 months, 8 days. Love will try to break the mark at the former playground of Snead, who was the longtime head pro and pro emeritus at The Greenbrier resort.
Love’s last win was two years ago at the Wyndham Championship, making him the tour’s third-oldest winner.
“I don’t think much about age,” Love said. “I think that I want to go out and compete. There’s a reason why I keep having surgery, coming back, doing the rehab and trying to play. There’s a lot to play for, not just for this week but for the rest of the season. I’m going to stay after it.”
Munoz welcomes the challenge, especially from Love.
“That would be awesome if he wins,” Munoz said. “He has to beat me and all the other guys. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.”
While his birdie pace slowed to a trickle, Munoz overcame several miscues to stay atop the leaderboard. He saved par on the ninth hole after driving under a tree, regained the lead with a 26-foot birdie putt on the par-4 13th after driving into the rough, and added a 36-footer for birdie on the par-4 15th.
Streb, five strokes behind Munoz entering the day, birdied the 490-yard 11th and hit his 231-yard approach shot next to the flag and made eagle at the par-5 12th.
He’d like to do a little better than in 2015 at the tournament, when he lost in a four-man playoff won by Danny Lee.
That year, Streb broke his putter on the ninth hole in the final round when he tossed it at his bag next to the green. He made five birdie putts on the back nine with a 56-degree wedge. He was able to put a new putter in his bag for the playoff but was eliminated on the first extra without ever getting to use it.
Using the wedge on the greens “worked out pretty well at the time,” Streb said. “I’m not planning on living up to that again.”
Streb has one top-10 finish this season, a tie for ninth at the Farmers Insurance Open. Munoz has none. At the St. Jude Classic last month, Munoz was tied for the lead through 36 holes, but he played the final two rounds in 11 over and tied for 60th.
Ryan Brehm (Traverse City/Michigan State) shot 69 to remain 8 under. Rookie Xander Schauffele and Jamie Lovemark were at 11 under after 66s. Kelly Kraft (67) and Henley (68) joined Love at 10 under.
Jan Rahm shot a second straight 5-under 67 at the Irish Open and moved into a share of the lead with Daniel Im in the third round on Saturday.
On a day of good scoring over the links at Portstewart Golf Club, the 11th-ranked Rahm moved to 17 under par overall after making four consecutive birdies from No. 11 and parring his way home.
Im, a 542nd-ranked American who was tied for the lead with Benjamin Hebert after the first two rounds, birdied five of his opening 14 holes and scrambled superbly at the end to shoot a 68 and stay alongside Rahm. Hebert is a stroke behind after shooting 69.
Rahm, one of golf’s hottest talents, tied for 10th at the French Open last week in the Spaniard’s first appearance on the European Tour and looks in good shape to collect his second victory of 2017, after the Farmers Insurance Open on the U.S. PGA Tour in January.
The No. 2-ranked Hideki Matsuyama dropped into a tie for 22nd after a 72.
Julien Quesne and Scott Hend both shot 64s for the lowest round of the day and are fifth and sixth, respectively.
Katherine Kirk shot a 7-under 65 to open a four-stroke lead in the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic, and move into position to challenge the tour’s 72-hole record.
Coming off a career-best 63 on Friday, the 35-year-old Australian reached 20-under 196 in the first year event at Thornberry Creek — the Oneida Nation-owned resort near Green Bay.
“I’ve been playing pretty well lately, trending at least in the right direction,” Kirk said. “I like this golf course. It suits my eye, and I think it’s going to take another low one tomorrow. You saw some really good scores out there today. It’s not over until it’s over, right?”
The LPGA Tour record for 72 holes is 27 under, set by Annika Sorenstam in the 2001 Standard Register Ping in Phoenix and matched by Sei Young Kim last year in the Founders Cup, also in Phoenix. Sorenstam shot a record 59 in the second round.
Kirk played the first five holes in 1 over with a birdie on No. 1 and bogeys on Nos. 3 and 5. She rebounded with a birdie on No. 6, ran off four straight on Nos. 8-11 and added birdies on 13, 15 and 17. On the par-4 18th, she saved par with a 15-footer after finding the right fairway bunker and hitting her approach well left.
She won the last of her two tour titles in 2010.
South Africa’s Ashleigh Buhai was second after a 65. She’s winless on the LPGA Tour.