Lucas Glover maintains Zurich Classic lead after 3 rounds

AVONDALE — It’s been one week shy of two years since Lucas Glover cradled a trophy after winning a PGA Tour event.

But if he happens to get the call from his wife, Glover will pass on the chance to win another trophy and fly home to cradle their first child in his arms.

It’s more likely that the 2009 U.S. Open champion will hold on to his two-stroke lead and win the Zurich Classic of New Orleans on Sunday than his wife, Krista, will go into labor nearly three weeks early. But if Lucille Glover decides to make an early appearance in the world, Mom and Dad have decided what they will do.

“I made (Krista) promise she’ll call whenever and I’ll leave whenever,” Glover said.

Maybe it’s a good thing PGA Tour officials decided to move up tee times Sunday because of the threat of inclement weather.

Or premature deliveries.

Because the Glovers are expecting, Lucas said he didn’t commit to playing the Zurich until the Thursday before the tournament.

Eventually, it was Krista who talked him into going. Now he’s one good round away from his first win since the 2011 Wells Fargo Championship — next week’s PGA Tour stop in Charlotte, N.C.

“My wife said, ‘You’re playing well, and I know you’re not going to want to leave when the baby comes, so why don’t you go play?’ ” Glover recalled.

Glover looked for a while Saturday as though he would play well enough to run away and hide from the other 70 players who made the 36-hole cut at TPC Louisiana.

Starting at 12-under-par with a one-stroke lead on Boo Weekley, Glover extended his lead to three strokes over D.A. Points after he birdied the par-5 11th hole to dip to 15-under.

But bogeys at 14 and 17 left Glover’s advantage hanging by a thread until he reached the par-5 18th in two. He easily tapped home in two from 10 feet for birdie and a 70 for a 54-hole total of 14-under 202.

A thicket of contenders is lying in wait for Glover on Sunday, with 28 other players within six strokes. Four of them — Kyle Stanley, Jimmy Walker, Billy Horschel and Points — are tied for second at 204.

“There are too many players for a bunch of guys not to go low (Sunday),” Glover said. “I had my chances to get up four or five, but to say I let a bunch (of contenders) back in, I wouldn’t necessarily say that. But there are going to be low scores again. It’s just a matter of, I think, who goes the lowest.”

Stanley went lowest among the chase group Saturday, vaulting into contention with a 65 that tied the low score of the day. A winner at Phoenix in 2012, he got his day kick-started with an eagle on the par-5 second hole, chipping in with a 4-iron from 11 yards behind the pin.

It was only one of 11 greens that Stanley has missed this week.

“My ball striking has been there,” he said, “but it’s been no different that it has been. Just the putter — I’ve kind of gotten that going this week, which is nice. I’m giving myself a lot of looks and taking advantage of it.”

Kevin Stadler, still seeking his first victory in his 12th year as a pro, also shot 65 with a scalding 6-under 30 on the front nine. He’s alone in sixth at 11-under 205.

Weekly shot 73 to slide back into a group tied for seventh at 10-under. That group includes first-round leader Ricky Barnes (66) and former LSU and UNO golfer Ken Looper of Mandeville.

Looper, making his first career PGA Tour start, pitched in for eagle from a deep swale left of the 18th green to follow his second-round 66 with a 67. He’ll play with Barnes and Sweden’s Henrik Norlander (65) in the third-to-last group Sunday.

“When I hit my (second) shot left of the green, I thought I might be in trouble,” Looper said. “But when we got up there, I thought, ‘This might go in.’ ”

Trailed by a large group of family and well-wishers Saturday, Looper said he isn’t worried about drawing even more fans Sunday.

“I hope to have a big gallery,” he said. “It makes me concentrate more.”

Former LSU teammate John Peterson battled a balky putter as he shot 70 to tie for 17th at 8-under 208 thanks in part to a pitch-in for birdie from 40 yards on the par-4 10th. Former LSU golfer and 2001 PGA champion David Toms rinsed his tee ball in the lake on 18, leading to a triple-bogey 8 and a third-round 73 that put him at 3-under 213.

Because of the threat of inclement weather, tee times Sunday will begin at 7 a.m., with players going off the No. 1 and No. 10 tees in threesomes.