Golf: Piercy extends lead to 4 shots at 3M Open with record 18-under total despite long delay

Scott Piercy playing his shot from the 13th tee during the third round of the 3M Open on July 23, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

(REUTERS) - Scott Piercy fired a five-under 66 on Saturday (July 23) to set the 54-hole tournament record and extend his lead to four strokes at the 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, Minnesota.

The 43-year-old American sits at 18-under 195 heading into Sunday's final round.

Saturday's round was delayed six hours and 38 minutes by inclement weather.

Emiliano Grillo of Argentina shot 67 to sit solo second four strokes back.

Tony Finau and Doug Ghim shot matching 65s to sit tied for third at 13 under for the tournament with another American Tom Hoge (66) six shots back in fifth place.

Piercy is 18 holes away from his fifth career win on the PGA Tour and first since 2015. He finished his round with seven birdies - including five in a row on holes 3 to 7 - against two bogeys. He finished his round with a bogey at the par-five 18th.

"It feels great," Piercy said. "I obviously would have liked to have kind of finished off the last hole a little bit better. My goal, once I got off to kind of a good start, was to get to 21 and keep the pedal to the metal and just try to go. The last four, five holes, kind of some tired swings and a little bit of mental grind today. So I'm happy that I actually gained a stroke from three to four and let's go do it again tomorrow."

Piercy will be paired with Grillo, who used an eagle, four birdies against two bogeys to remain within reach of his second victory on tour and first since 2015.

"I'm pleased the way I closed the round," the 29-year-old said, while acknowledging that catching Piercy is a daunting task.

"(Piercy) played phenomenal today," he added. "If he brings half of his game from today to tomorrow, that's going to be very tough. Obviously you're looking at a very low round tomorrow to have a chance, but I'm just going to go out and try to have fun and like I say, try to play my best."

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.