Kooch builds four-shot lead

Matt Kuchar shot a 4-under-par 68 to take a four-stroke lead over Sergio Garcia and Cameron Tringale into the final round of the Shell Houston Open on the Tournament Course at the Golf Club of Houston in Humble, Texas.

Kuchar, trying to win for the first time since the Memorial Tournament last June, took the lead with three birdies in the first five holes of round three, and rattled off three consecutive birdies through No. 14, but made bogeys on the last hole of each nine.

“It’s a bummer to three-putt the last one,” said Kuchar, who tied for fourth last week in the Valero Texas Open. “My speed got a little off there … but all in all I putted well. I’m not at all disappointed with the way I putted or the way I played.

“It’s a nice position to have played well last week, to have been in the last group with a chance to win and again to come back this week, (on a) completely different course and have another shot to win.”

Garcia, who held a one-shot lead after shooting 65 in round two, lost his lead with a bogey on the first hole when Kuchar made birdie, and added bogeys on the 10th and 11th holes in a round of 73.

Tringale, from Laguna Niguel, followed two 68s with a 69 that included six birdies and three bogeys, as he bids for his first victory on the PGA Tour.

Matt Jones of Australia shot 71 and was six strokes back in solo fourth, while Rickie Fowler had a bogey-free 68 and was another shot behind in a tie for fifth with Ben Curtis, who came in with a 71.

Phil Mickelson, trying to record his first top-10 finish of the season on the PGA Tour before heading to the Masters next week, posted a 72 and was tied for eighth.

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