Brendon Todd lost his lead briefly, but had it back by the end of the day.
The 35-year-old Todd, trying to become the first three-time winner on the PGA Tour this season, shot 1-under-par 69 to take a one-stroke lead over Byeong Hun An of South Korea to the final round of the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational at TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tenn.
Todd also had a two-stroke lead heading to the final round of the Travelers Championship in June, but closed with a 75 and tied for 11th.
“What I learned at the Travelers is just you cannot control the result, you can’t control the way you’re going to feel, where the ball’s going to land, if putts are going to go in … ,” said Todd, who claimed the first of his three PGA Tour victories in the 2014 HP Byron Nelson Championship. “The best players in the world treat each final round like it’s just another day, and they just go out there and try to execute and stick to their game and let the results fall as they do.
“I’m excited to be in this position and feel like if I can go out there and swing a little better and keep this putting momentum going, I’ll be in good shape.”
Todd, who won the Bermuda Championship and the Mayakoba Golf Classic early this season, stayed ahead despite three bogeys to go with three birdies on the back nine while recording a 54-hole score of 12-under 198.
An, who played college golf at Cal, made three straight birdies through No. 16 while posting a 66, while Rickie Fowler of Murrieta is two shots back in solo third after a 69 that included three birdies on the front nine and two bogeys on the back.
Defending champion and sixth-ranked Brooks Koepka collected five birdies on the back nine in a 68 is one more down in solo fourth, followed by third-ranked Justin Thomas, who is four strokes behind in fifth after a three late birdies in a 66.
Phil Mickelson, who has won three WGC events, also posted a 66 and is five shots back in a tie for sixth with Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa, who finished at 68, Matthew Fitzpatrick of England, who wound up at 69, and Chez Reavie, who had a 70.
Tom Lewis tied the course record with a 61 that included 10 birdies and is one more down in a big tie for 10th that includes fourth-ranked Webb Simpson (69), Shane Lowry (67) of Ireland, Joel Dahmen (64), Christiaan Bezuidenhout (64) of South Africa, Jason Day (69) Australia and Sungjae Im (69) of South Korea.
Fifth-ranked Dustin Johnson, who has won six WGC tournaments, is tied for 17th after a 68, while seventh-ranked Bryson DeChambeau of Clovis and eighth-ranked Patrick Reed both shot 68 and are in a tie for 40th.
Tenth-ranked Patrick Cantlay of Los Alamitos and UCLA carded a 65 and is tied for 47th, second-ranked Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland is tied for 53rd following a 73, and Jon Rahm of Spain, playing for the first time as the top-ranked player in the world, had a 71 and is tied for 67th.
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