Sandy, UT – Michael Putnam poured in five straight birdies on the back nine Saturday en route to an 8-under 63 and a 4-stroke lead after three rounds of the Utah Championship.
Putnam finished 54 holes at 17-under-par 196. His position on the leaderboard is unexpected as he had missed the cut in his last six starts, three on the PGA Tour and three on the Web.com Tour.
Robert Streb fired a 6-under 65 to jump into second place at minus-13.
Doug LaBelle II and Andres Gonzales both had 2-under 69s. They are tied for third at 12-under-par 201. Tyrone Van Aswegen (70) is one stroke further back at minus-11 at Willow Creek Country Club.
Putnam was two strokes off the lead to start his round. He dropped in back-to- back birdie chances at two and three to move to 11-under.
But he remained there as he ran off seven consecutive pars from the fourth.
Putnam took control of the tournament starting at the 11th. He birdied that par-3 and followed with a birdie on the 12th. Putnam also birdied the 13th and 14th to take the lead at 15-under.
Putnam wasn't finished. He birdied the par-3 15th to make it five in a row. He closed his round in style with a birdie at the last.
Streb had two birdies on the front nine to make the turn at 9-under. Around the turn, he birdied three of the first four holes. to jump to minus-13. That's where Streb ended as he parred the last four holes.
Second-round leader Morgan Hoffmann dropped three shots in the last three holes to slide into a share of sixth at 10-under-par 203. Hoffmann, who shot 72 in round three, was joined there by Camilo Benedetti (68), Scott Gutschewski (69), James Love (69), Sam Saunders (65), Jim Renner (68), Brian Stuard (69) and Trevor Murphy (70).
NOTES: Putnam missed the course record and the 54-hole scoring mark both by one stroke...Putnam had the low round of the day by two strokes...There was a 63-minute weather delay on Saturday.