Alvarado leads by 3 in Brazil

Benjamin Alvarado carded a 5-under 66 on Saturday to grab a 3-stroke lead at the inaugural Brasil Classic.

Alvarado was forced to complete his second round earlier on Saturday as Friday's round was suspended due to darkness following a three-plus hour rain delay, and closed with three straight birdies to grab a share of the lead prior to the start of the third round.

The Chile native, who is seeking his first career win on the Tour, finished three rounds at the Sao Paulo Golf Club at 17-under-par 196.

"I'm tired. It was a long day, but I played great today. The key today was my putting," Alvarado said. "Every time I was far from the hole, I left the ball very close and every time I had a makeable birdie putt, I did it."

Kevin Kim (67) sits in second place at 14-under, while Richard S. Johnson (70), Danny Lee (70) and Dawie van der Walt (65) share third at minus-13.

Johnson and Lee each held a share of the lead with Alvarado prior to the start of the third round.

Kim started his third round before the three co-leaders and followed a birdie at the first with three more birdies in a 4-hole stretch starting at the fourth to move into sole possession of first at 14-under.

But Kim then bogeyed the ninth to fall back into a tie with Alvarado for the top spot following Alvarado's birdie at the second.

After parring the next six holes, Alvarado snapped the streak with a birdie at the ninth to retake the outright lead, but it was shortlived as Johnson recorded a hole-in-one at the same hole to meet him at 14-under.

Johnson, however, bogeyed the 10th and 11th to fall off the pace, while Alvarado birdied the 11th to gain some breathing room.

Kim again joined Alvarado atop the leaderboard with back-to-back birdies at the 12th and 13th, but followed those with consecutive bogeys at the 14th and 15th to fall behind.

He was able to get one of those strokes back with a birdie at the 17th.

Alvarado, meanwhile, closed with birdies at the 13th and 17th to move three clear of the field.

"I had a lot of pressure in Chile. I've won many events, but those were all small events with 100 people watching," stated Alvarado. "There were a lot of people in Chile. I don't play very often with that pressure. I think tomorrow will be different. Today, I didn't have that pressure."

NOTES: Brice Garnett also had a hole-in-one at the ninth hole ... This is Alvarado's third event of the year. In his other two events, he tied for fourth at the Chile Classic and missed the cut at the Louisiana Open ... Alvarado has not recorded a bogey in his last 45 holes ... Kim is also seeking his first career tour win.