Lahiri slips in third round, but still in fray at Greenbrier

The Indian golfer slipped from overnight T-2 to T-6 but is still within striking distance at just three shots behind leader, Harold Varner (66).

Lahiri slipped from overnight T-2 to T-6 but is still within striking distance at just three shots behind leader, Harold Varner (66).   -  AP

Anirban Lahiri staged a terrific fightback after a disappointing front nine to bring home a card of one-over 71 in the third round of the Greenbrier Classic here.

Lahiri who bogeyed first, second, seventh and ninth on front nine, stopped the leakage of shots in the back nine as he birdied 12th, 14th and 17th to take his total to 11-under 199.

The Indian golfer slipped from overnight T-2 to T-6 but is still within striking distance at just three shots behind leader, Harold Varner (66).

With the Old White TPC dried out on a sunny Saturday the scores weren’t as low as the first two days when rains softened the course. Yet there were no less than eight rounds of 63 or better.

Lahiri, who holed a lot of long putts on second day, missed at least three inside six feet and another one from under nine feet.

Varner is tied with second-round leader Kelly Kraft (69). Varner had four back-nine birdies after 10 consecutive pars. Kraft led by as many as four strokes but bogeyed two of the final three holes and shot one-under 69. Both were at 14-under 196.

Fifteen golfers were within five shots of the lead. Defending champion Xander Schauffele and Kevin Na were at 13 under. Both shot 65.

Kraft and Varner are looking for their first PGA TOUR wins in their 85th starts. Since this tournament debuted in 2010, there have been four first-time champions, but no third-round leader has won.

The tournament has been decided by two or fewer strokes every year and has gone to a playoff three times. The 2016 tournament was cancelled after devastating floods.

Sam Saunders was alone in fifth place at 12 under after a 67. Bubba Watson shot 65 and was among three players at 11 under. Watson hopes to add this tournament to his three other wins this season.

Watson wants to honor his late father, Gerry, a Green Beret who fought in the Vietnam War. Watson also owns a vacation home at The Greenbrier Sporting Club.

The top four players not already exempt among the top 12 finishers will earn spots in the Open Championship at Carnoustie starting July 19.

Aditi Tied-26th at Thornberry

Aditi Ashok shot her third straight round in the 60s with a three-under 69 and moved to 11-under 205 at the Thornberry LPGA Classic in Oneida on Saturday.

Aditi, who had rounds of 68-69 on first two days, is however 13 shots behind the runaway leader, Sei Young Kim, whose rounds of 63-65-64 put her at a record 24-under 192.

Aditi, who was T-22 after second round, is now T-26th.

Kim is eight shots ahead of second placed fellow Korean Amy Yang (67-66-67) who is 13-under and T-second.

Kim posted an 8-under 64 yesterday to get to 24-under and will have an eight shot lead with 18 holes left on Sunday.

Through 54 holes, Kim has made 24 birdies, an eagle and her lone mistake of the entire tournament was a double bogey in round two and she has no bogeys so far.

Amy Yang carded a 5-under 67 and is alone in second place at 16-under. Lydia Ko, Anna Nordqvist and Emma Talley share third place at 15-under.