Robert Garrigus fired a one-under-par 70 to finish three rounds one shot ahead of fellow American Kevin Na at the USPGA Tour’s Valspar Championship on Saturday.
Garrigus ended 54 holes at eight-under-par 205. He was aiming for his second PGA Tour title yesterday. Garrigus led by three strokes after the first two rounds at the US$5.7 million Copperhead Course at Innisbrook.
Na, of Rancho Cucamonga, California, moved within one shot of the lead following his three-under 68. He ended three rounds at seven-under.
“This is the position you want,” Garrigus said. “You want to be there, you want to be in contention. I missed that little one on the last hole, and the one on 12 or whatever it was, those were two bad strokes. I didn’t start them where I wanted to.”
“Those were the first two bad ones all week. They were my first bad strokes and that’s probably why I’m in the lead,” he said.
Na and Garrigus were in the final group on Saturday and were both put on the clock on Saturday for slow play. They each had a single “bad time.” Another bad time would have been a one-shot penalty.
Na chipped in for birdie on the 15th to move to seven-under. He closed with three pars in a row.
“Thought I played very well today,” Na said. “The front nine, I felt like I hit it pretty great. Didn’t hit too many bad shots.”
“The back nine, I felt like I had a few bad swings out there, but luckily my short game was right there to keep me in it,” he said.
John Senden, who was co-runner-up in this event in 2008, fired a seven-under 64 and jumped into third place at six-under 207. Reigning US Open champ Justin Rose tallied a two-under 69 and is alone in fourth at five-under 208.
Former winner Retief Goosen, of South Africa, made the cut on the number, then fired a 64 in round three and vaulted into a tie for fifth place at four-under 209. He was joined there by Charley Hoffman (67) and Scott Langley (69).
Matteo Manassero (71), Jason Kokrak (68) and 2012 champion Luke Donald (67) share eighth place at minus-three.