SILVIS, Ill. — Calm skies and a near-perfect course gave every golfer at the John Deere Classic the chance to shoot a really low number on Saturday.
Daniel Summerhays went lower than everyone else, seizing firm control heading into Sunday’s final round.
Summerhays shot a 9-under 62 for a two-stroke lead following third-round play. Summerhays, whose previous best finish on the PGA Tour was a tie for fourth, enters the final round at 19-under 194 and in position for his first career win.
He notched 10 birdies while matching the lowest third-round score in tournament history.
“I think when I’m playing well the mentality is make as many birdies as you can,” Summerhays said. “I’m really looking forward to (Sunday). I’m playing really well.”
Canadian David Hearn (64) is second at 17 under. Defending champion Zach Johnson held a share of the lead after each of the first two rounds, but he’s now alone in third after shooting a 67.
J.J. Henry and Jerry Kelly are tied for fourth at 15 under, while Nicholas Thompson leads three golfers at 14 under.
Summerhays had missed three straight cuts — failing to shoot a round under 70 in those events — before finishing ninth last week at the Greenbrier Classic.
He’s been hot all weekend at Deere Run, though, and Saturday marked the lowest round of his career.
Summerhays blew a 2-shot lead during the final round of the Mayakoba Classic in Mexico last year and finished fifth, but he insists that he’ll take an easygoing approach into Sunday.
“I know there’s going to be obstacles and challenges, as there always are. There are always things that stand in your way. But I’m just excited to see what those are and deal with them,” Summerhays said.
U.S. Senior Open
Allen’s lead down to TWO: In Omaha, Neb., Kenny Perry and Fred Funk made charges in the U.S. Senior Open on Saturday, each pulling within two shots of leader Michael Allen with one round to go.
Perry, going for a second straight win in a senior major, shot 6-under-par 64 to match Corey Pavin for the low round at Omaha Country Club. Funk shot 67 after making a long birdie putt on No. 18.
Allen, who had a 63 Friday, ballooned to a 2-over 72. He started the day with a 5-stroke advantage over Rocco Mediate. It was the largest lead after 36 holes in the tournament’s 34-year history.
Allen was at 8-under 202 for the tournament.
Pavin, who tied for second in last year’s tournament, was two shots behind Perry and Funk and four behind Allen.
Mediate faded with bogeys on four of five holes in the middle of his round and sat five shots off the lead after a 72.
Park shoots CAREER-BEST 61: In Waterloo, Ontario, South Korea’s Hee Young Park shot a career-best 61 to move into the lead after the third round at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic.
Park was 10 under and 20-under 193 overall, one stroke better than American Angela Stanford and two shots ahead of Scotland’s Catriona Matthew.
Park nearly chipped in on the 18th hole for an eagle before tapping in a short putt for her sixth birdie on the back nine.
“I finished really well, finished (with) the birdie, so it’s going to be fun tomorrow,” she said.
Matthew (68) started the day with a three-shot lead on Stanford (64) but fell back with a double-bogey on the par-3 12th.
Stenson holds off Mickelson at Scottish Open: In Inverness, Scotland, Henrik Stenson held off a resurgent Phil Mickelson at the Scottish Open by shooting a 6-under 66 to take a two-stroke lead into the final round.
Mickelson was in a group of four players in a tie for second after making six birdies in his last 11 holes for a 66 on Saturday. His performance has the American talking up his improving links game before next week’s British Open.
Branden Grace and first-round leader John Parry were tied with Mickelson after each shooting 66, along with J.B. Hansen (69).
Accurate off the tee and creative around the greens, Mickelson chose the ideal day to show off his repertoire of skills.
The four-time major winner had four birdies in five holes playing into the wind. A delicate chip to within three feet set up another birdie at No. 16, and a 15-foot putt on the last hole lifted him briefly into the lead.
and drew one of the biggest cheers of the day.
“The last 11 holes were a lot of fun for me to play,” he said.
Mickelson is seeking his first win in Europe in 20 years and first in Britain. That would prove the ideal way to go into the British Open.
“I have kept the ball in play as well as I ever have (on links),” said Mickelson, who found 11 of 14 fairways on the undulating course in the Scottish Highlands.
Matteo Manassero made the tournament’s first hole-in-one — acing No. 8 from 216 yards with a 3-iron hybrid.