White Sulphur Springs, WV (SportsNetwork.com) - Billy Hurley carded a 3-under 67 on Saturday and he stretched his lead to two strokes after three rounds of the Greenbrier Classic.
Hurley, who will go for his first PGA Tour win on Sunday, finished 54 holes at 12-under-par 198. This is the first time Hurley has had the 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour.
"I think I played nicely today. I think I only missed two fairways, so that gives me a lot of good chances with iron shots to put the ball in position to make some putts. And I made some," Hurley said.
Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera fired a 6-under 64 to jump into second place at minus-10. In 16 starts this season on the PGA Tour, Cabrera's best finish was a tie for 11th at the Travelers Championship. That was his lone top-20 finish all season.
Kevin Chappell managed a 1-under 69 in round three on the Old White TPC Course at The Greenbrier. He is alone in third at 9-under-par 201.
Michael Thompson and Cameron Tringale both fired 64s on Saturday. They were joined in fourth place at minus-8 by Joe Durant (66), Steve Stricker (68), Camilo Villegas (67), Chris Stroud (70) and Will Wilcox (65).
Defending champion Jonas Blixt posted a 2-under 68 and he improved into a share of 19th at 5-under 205.
U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson shot 68 for the second straight round. He is tied for 43rd at 3-under 207.
Hurley opened with a 9-foot birdie putt at the first. However, he gave that shot back when he bogeyed the third. That dropped shot created a 3-way atop the leaderboard.
At the fourth, Hurley erased that mistake with a 4-foot birdie putt to regain the lead at 10-under. He parred the next four holes before he dropped in a 5- footer for birdie on the ninth.
Hurley, who was a lieutenant in the Navy before he joined the tour, hit the stick with his chip shot at the par-5 12th. He kicked in a short birdie effort and made it two in a row as he rolled in a 16-foot birdie chance on the 13th.
That moved him to 13-under, where he was three clear of Cabrera. Two holes later, Hurley missed the green at the par-3 15th and that led to a bogey, which trimmed his cushion to two. Hurley closed with three straight pars.
"That probably was the only bad shot I hit and it wasn't that bad in the grand scheme of it," Hurley said of his tee shot on No. 15. "It kind of got caught in the long grass on one of the bunker faces. I hit a nice pitch, and just mis-read the putt. I played nicely today."
Cabrera started seven groups ahead of Hurley and got off to a flying start as he birdied four of the first six holes to jump to minus-8.
The Argentine parred five in a row around the turn. That run ended when he birdied the par-5 12th. However, Cabrera gave that shot right back as he bogeyed the 13th.
Cabrera jumped into second place as he posted back-to-back birdies at 16 and 17. He parred the last to end two back.
NOTES: If Hurley wins, he would be the 10th first-time winner this season on the PGA Tour ... This is the fifth year of this event, and the first four winners all came from behind ... The top four players that finish in the top 12 on the leaderboard will get into the Open Championship if not already qualified. If there is a tie, the player with the higher world ranking will gain the spot at Hoylake ... There were 15 players cut from the field with a secondary cut after the third round ... Among those to miss that cut were Woody Austin, John Daly, Jeff Maggert and D.A. Points.