Wilcox storms in front at South Georgia Classic

Will Wilcox fired a course-record, 9-under 63 on Saturday and opened a 7-stroke lead through three rounds of the South Georgia Classic.

Wilcox didn't drop a shot until his final hole, picking up eight birdies and an eagle in all. At 16-under-par 200, the Alabama native set the 54-hole tournament record and comfortably positioned himself for his first career Tour victory.

First-round leader Ryan Spears used an inward 31 to card a 4-under 68 at Kinderlou Forest Golf Club. The Tour rookie is tied for second place with D.J. Brigman (67) and Michael Putnam (70) at 9-under.

Overnight leader Hudson Swafford (72) and Andrew Loupe (71) share fifth place at minus-8.

Wilcox birdied his first hole on Saturday to join Swafford at the top and he never looked back.

Swafford birdied the second, but Wilcox, playing a group ahead the overnight leader, also picked up a birdie on No. 2, then went on top for good with another gain on the fourth.

Wilcox made birdie again on No. 6 and closed his front nine with a trio of pars before significantly padding his margin on the back. He parred the 10th and then went on a scorching run, picking up three birdies and an eagle on the par-4 12th over his next four holes.

Another birdie on the 16th pushed Wilcox's lead to eight, but he finally slipped up on the par-4 last with a bogey.

"I just hit it nice and I putted good. I just made good birdies on holes I needed to. My swing felt good and my putting feels great, that's the main thing," Wilcox said. "I know I'm sitting nice, but these are really good players and this is a really good golf course. It's not like I'm going to waltz around here (Sunday). I have to try and keep it in front of me."

Despite the dropped shot, Wilcox still managed to best the course record of 64, most recently set by Woody Austin in 2012, and the 54-hole record of 204, last set by 2012 champion Luke List.

Swafford is a University of Georgia product whose only career Tour win came in this state at the Stadion Classic last year. He couldn't match the form of his second-round 67, carding just two birdies, while bogeying twice en route to his even-par round.

NOTES: Wilcox's best finish on the Tour this season is a tie for 12th at the Chile Classic. This is his 49th start on the Tour ... At 7,781 yards, the Kinderlou Forest Golf Club is the longest on the Tour.