Golf: Harris English keeps lead in WGC-St Jude event with near flawless play in third round

Harris English has excelled at avoiding mistakes thus far.
Harris English has excelled at avoiding mistakes thus far.PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA

(REUTERS) - Harris English held on to his lead in the WGC-St Jude Invitational with a third-round 65 to finish at 18-under 192 on Saturday (Aug 7) in Memphis, Tennessee.

The five-under round allowed the 32-year-old American to maintain a two-stroke advantage over Bryson DeChambeau and Cameron Smith heading into Sunday's final round.

English has excelled at avoiding mistakes thus far, shooting a no-bogey round on Saturday after notching just three total bogeys in his first two rounds when he fired 62 and 65.

"There's a lot of good players behind me and my goal is just stick to my strategy and execute and whatever happens, happens," English said.

"I can't control what everybody else is doing. I can't really put a number out there, but if you play good golf out here, you can shoot seven, eight under. So who knows what it's going to take, but I've got to keep doing what I'm doing and we'll see where it is after 18."

DeChambeau tied for the best round on Saturday, carding a 63 to jump five places and put additional pressure on English with 18 holes to go. His day included eight birdies, with five coming on the back nine, along with one bogey.

"I don't know what it is," he said. "I like the front a lot better, but it's just worked out really well this week on the last few holes, I guess the back nine. I've just got to keep giving myself chances."

Jordan Spieth jumped 35 positions after matching DeChambeau with a 63. He fired an eagle and six birdies to quiet some concerns about his health.

St Jude is just his second tournament in the past seven weeks. He is now tied for 17th at seven-under 203.

"I've just kind of had the same kind of hand thing that's been an issue before," Spieth said. "It's really good this week, I've had no issues and don't plan on having issues, but I just had some - a couple here or there, jammed it a bit and it was kind of affecting my decision-making on how much golf I wanted to play and I think the rest really helped."

Australia's Smith stayed within striking distance of the lead with a 65, a day after he tied the PGA Tour record for fewest putts in a round (with 18). He had seven birdies and two bogeys.

"Just to be in the hunt there tomorrow's a good enough experience in itself," he said. "I feel like I've been up there a few times now, I just need to go out there and do what I did the first three days and grind it out."

Italy's Abraham Ancer (67) is in fourth place at 14-under 196, Scottie Scheffler (67) and England's Ian Poulter (67) are tied for fifth at 13 under, and four players are joint seventh at 11 under: Dustin Johnson (65), England's Paul Casey (65), Will Zalatoris (67) and South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen (68).