Triplett devours soft greens to forge ahead

Kirk Triplett fired a nine-under-par 62 on the new TPC at Deere Run course in Ohio on Saturday to claim a two-shot lead over the South African David Frost after three rounds of the John Deere Classic.

Kirk Triplett fired a nine-under-par 62 on the new TPC at Deere Run course in Ohio on Saturday to claim a two-shot lead over the South African David Frost after three rounds of the John Deere Classic.

Triplett took advantage of soft conditions on the greens to roll in seven birdies and an eagle, matching the course record set by Frost during Friday's second round.

Seeking his second title of the season and career, Triplett played the final 11 holes in seven under par for his best round in 280 career PGA Tour events. The 38-year-old sunk two birdie putts of 15 feet and two more from 20 feet.

"The greens are holding and they've been fairly generous so far with the pin placement and the tee placements. It's right for low scores," said Triplett. He heads into the final round with a two-shot lead over Frost, who followed his 62 with a 70 as he seeks his first title since 1997.

Paul Curry shot a two-under-par 69 in the third round but dropped back to eighth place. The Essex-born 39-year-old had birdies at the opening two holes to move into contention, but he only managed one more birdie and a bogey to finish on 12-under-par at 201 going into the final round.

Michael Clark stood in third place, three shots off the lead, while Tim Herron, Bill Glasson, the United States collegiate champion, Charles Howell, and Chris Riley were five strokes back in an event which was missed by most of the Tour's top players.

JOHN DEERE CLASSIC Leading third-round scores (US unless stated):

195 K Triplett 67 66 62. 197 D Frost (SA) 65 62 70. 198 M Clark 70 65 63. 200 B Glasson 66 66 68; T Herron 65 65 70; C Riley 68 67 65; C Howell 69 64 67. 201 P Curry 63 69 69. 202 S Gotsche 69 65 68; J Kelly 67 66 69; F Lickliter 65 68 69; B Quigley 70 65 67; DA Weibring 69 66 67; J Ogilvie 66 69 67. 203 R Damron 66 69 68; G Day 71 67 65; K Gibson 69 67 67; S Jones 68 70 65; L Mattiace 70 68 65; J McGovern 69 68 66; S Micheel 68 66 69; D Pohl 68 65 70; S Verplank 67 68 68; J Williamson 70 68 65.

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