— American Jason Dufner kept his composure after a slow start to move one stroke clear of a congested leaderboard in Saturday’s wind-buffeted third round of the Byron Nelson Championship here.
Overnight leader Dufner, who clinched his maiden PGA Tour victory at the New Orleans Classic three weeks ago, carded a one-under-par 69 at the TPC Four Seasons Resort Las Colinas for an eight-under total of 202. The 35-year-old was one of nine players who held at least a share of the lead in the third round but he made no mistakes in gusting winds after recording a birdie at the 14th while his closest challengers slipped back. Australian Jason Day, champion here in 2010, three-putted the last for a 67 to slide back to seven under, level with Americans J.J. Henry (67) and Dicky Pride (69).
Fijian former world No. 1 Vijay Singh was a further stroke back after firing a 66.
Dufner began the day with a one-shot lead but squandered that with a bogey at the par-four third where he drove into a bunker.
However, the laid-back American with the distinctive pre-shot waggle birdied the sixth to reach the turn in even-par 35.
At one point on the back nine, Dufner shared the lead with Day, Pride, Australian Marc Leishman and American world No. 5 Matt Kuchar but his birdie at the 14th was good enough to give him a one-stroke cushion going into Sunday’s final round.
Day, who won his only PGA Tour title at the Byron Nelson Championship two years ago, was delighted with his position despite three-putting the final hole.
American world No. 10 Phil Mickelson carded a 69 to lie six strokes off the pace at two under, one better than former world No. 1 Ernie Els of South Africa, after a 70. — Agencies