Gary Woodland of the US fired a seven-under 65 on Saturday to surge seven points clear of the field heading into the final round of the Reno-Tahoe Open, the PGA Tour’s only event using the Stableford scoring system.
Woodland, who began one shot back of Argentine overnight leader Andres Romero, was off to a flying start with an eagle at the par-five second and piled up six birdies against a lone bogey for a three-round total of 37 points.
Under the modified Stableford system, points are awarded on each hole for being under par, with birdies earning a player two points and eagles five.
A bogey costs a player one point, double-bogeys and worse three points. No points are won or lost with par.
Brendan Steele of the US rocketed into contention with a sensational back nine at the Reno’s Montreux Golf and Country Club that included six birdies and an eagle at the par-five 18th for a 65. That was good enough for the day’s best score of 17 points and a three-day tally of 30.
David Mathis of the US sits alone in third one back on 29 points after a third-round 67, but Romero fell 10 points behind the leader after laboring to an one-under 71.
Romero had a stumbling start with bogeys at the fifth and seventh, but he hit back with three birdies before signing off with a bogey-birdie-par finish.