Price grabs slim lead in Panama

Panama City, Panama ( - Aron Price carded a 1-under 69 on Saturday and moved one stroke clear of the field after three rounds of the Panama Claro Championship.

Price, who has one Tour win to his credit, ended 54 holes at 7-under- par 203.

Carlos Ortiz posted a 4-under 66 to move into a share of second place. He was joined at minus-6 by Steve Allan and Roland Thatcher, who both shot 67 on round three at Club de Golf de Panama.

Last week's winner Jon Curran and Mark Hubbard both managed 70s on Saturday and stand alongside Andrew Putnam (68) in fifth place at 5-under 205.

Scott Parel, who shared the second-round lead with Price, stumbled to a 5-over 75, which dropped him into a tie for 27th at 1-under 209.

Price, who has had a piece of the lead after each of the first two rounds, flew out to a 3-stroke lead as he drained three straight birdies chances from the third.

The Australian gave them right back as he faltered to three consecutive bogeys from the sixth, which dropped him back into a share of the lead.

Parel birdied the sixth to move to 7-under, but he faltered to a double-bogey on the seventh, then dropped four more strokes in the next five holes to fall from contention.

Price remained tied for the lead at minus-6 as he parred five in a row from the ninth. Finally, at the par-4 14th, Price made birdie to move out in front at 7-under. He finished there as he parred his last four holes.

"My job today was to try and keep my patience, that's absolutely the name of the game on this course. I know it's a cliche, but most of this game is played in your head," Price said. "I think anything under par is a good score out here. If you shoot even-par you haven't played poorly."

Ortiz birdied the first and third before an eagle on the fourth moved him to 6-under. He tripped to bogeys on six and seven to fall back, but around the turn moved back up the leaderboard. Ortiz notched birdies at 10 and 11 to get back to minus-6. He parred seven in row to end his round there.

"I wasn't trying to shoot a particular score. With the wind, you never know how the scores are going to be. Anything under par I knew was going to be okay and I'll take 4-under every day," Ortiz stated.

Allen had three birdies and a bogey on the front nine to turn at 5-under. After five pars in a row, Allen birdied the 15th to get within one, and that is where he finished with three pars in a row.

Thatcher had a bogey and two birdies on the front side, then a bogey and three birdies around the turn to grab a share of the lead.

NOTES: Price has the 54-hole lead for the second time in his Tour career. He finished tied for 10th the other time he was in that position ... Putnam posted his 14th straight under par rounds this year ... There were no bogey-free rounds on Saturday.