Brett Stegmaier retains lead in Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
Last Updated: 26/10/15 8:45am
Morgan Hoffman's late bogey gave Brett Stegmaier a one-shot lead heading in to the final round of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
Stegmaier, making just his fifth start on the PGA Tour, retained his narrow advantage with a three-under 68 at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas.
The rookie briefly fell off the top of the leaderboard when he failed to save par from eight feet at the 17th as Hoffman posted a third successive birdie, but recovered to slide in a 15-foot gain of his own at the last.
"I felt really comfortable," Stegmaier said. "I would have thought I'd be a lot more nervous but I just feel I belong in this position and I felt really good out there.
"I drove it really well. I feel like I'm really good at staying patient. I play conservatively, so I usually have a lot of 20-30 footers, a lot of two-putt pars, which I knew was going to be good, with the greens being firmer. It was a pretty easy day all things considered."
Hoffman, making his first appearance since the TOUR Championship, surged through the pack during the back nine but heads in to the final round in second after finding the trees off the 18th tee.
Both Stegmaier and Hoffman are chasing their first PGA Tour titles, but they will be put under pressure on the final day by Kevin Na, Jimmy Walker and Chad Campbell, who are all lying on 11 under and have the experience of 10 wins between them.
Germany's Alex Cejka sandwiched birdies at the 16th and 18th with an ace at the par-three 17th to finish strongly and join Nick Taylor, Jason Bohn and Cameron Tringale a further shot off the pace.
The top nine are separated by just three shots ahead of day four, although Rickie Fowler, the highest ranked player in the field, failed to sustain his second-round charge as he stuttered to a one-under 70.
England's Greg Owen, a shot off the lead after day one, followed each of his three bogeys with a birdie on the next hole for a level-par 71 that leaves him 10 strokes off the pace.
Watch the final round of the Shriners Hospitals for Childrens Open live on Sunday from 9pm on Sky Sports 4 - your home of golf