Staten stays in front at Jacksonville Open

B.J. Staten fired a 2-under-par 68 on Saturday to retain the lead after three rounds of the Jacksonville Open.

Staten, who is winless on the Tour, but has two top-10s this season, sits at 8-under 202 -- one stroke clear of Robert Streb (67) and Patrick Cantlay (68).

"I drove it well coming down the stretch," Staten said. "I hit it to about four feet on 12, and had a nice up and down on 13 and then hit a nice 5-iron to about seven feet on 14 and a 9-iron to about four or five feet on 15. And then just hit really good quality shots on 17 and 18. Both off the tee and from the fairway and you will take that."

Ben Martin (68) is alone in fourth place at 6-under, Russell Henley (69) is one shot back in fifth, while Wes Roach (67), Philip Pettitt, Jr. (69) and two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen (69) are tied for sixth at 4-under.

This is the last full-field event before next week's Tour Championship at TPC Craig Ranch. That event is reserved for the top-60 golfers on the money list, and for a few players, a quality performance on Sunday could solidify a spot in next week's field.

Both Staten and Janzen reside in that category, as the former is 69th on the money list and the latter is 61st.

Staten entered Saturday with a 1-stroke lead after posting a second-round 66. The advantage quickly disappeared, however, courtesy of the 35-year-old's double-bogey on the opening hole at Dye's Valley Course.

A birdie on No. 3 was offset by bogey on the sixth, before Staten eventually settled. He carded a birdie on the ninth, began the back with consecutive pars, then reeled off three birdies in a four-hole stretch to reach 2-under for the day.

Pars on the final three holes allowed Staten to maintain his narrow edge.

"I'm just not going to think about the future and I'm just going to focus on what is going on at that time," said Staten. "And that's (my caddie) and I getting really specific on what we're trying to do on a given shot. And I think I'm going to keep doing that and if I win the golf tournament, great."

Janzen, who captured the U.S. Open title in 1993 and 1998, carded five birdies and four bogeys on Saturday to remain in contention.

NOTES: Staten finished third at the Rex Hospital Open and ninth at the Panama Claro Championship this season...First-round leader Doug LaBelle II shot 74 on Saturday to fall into a tie for 25th place at 1-under...Leading money winner Casey Wittenberg missed Friday's cut...The top-25 on the money list after next week's finale earn PGA Tour cards.