Lyle takes 54-hole lead over Brigman at Knoxville Open

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June 21, 2008
Mark Williams, PGA TOUR Staff

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- On the longest day of the year, and the first full day of summer, the third round of the Knoxville Open presented by Food City was completed early due to the possibility of thunderstorms.

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Inside the Numbers
Lyle thru 54 Holes
Category Total Rank
Eagles 0 N/A
Birdies 20 1
Pars 30 T61
Bogeys 4 T41
Driving Accuracy 61.9% T36
Driving Distance 295.2 yds. 7
Greens in Regulation 85.2% T2
Putts per Round 28.0 T11

The storms didn't arrive but Jarrod Lyle, the Mexico Open winner earlier this year, stormed to the lead with a 5-under 67 and a 16-under-par total. Lyle is one ahead of D.J. Brigman who birdied the last hole and shot 70.

Chris Kirk, Doug Barron and Thomas Hagler IV are tied for third at 14 under. Seven players are tied for sixth.

Lyle, playing in the final pairing with overnight leader Brigman, took the lead with a birdie at the ninth hole when Brigman bogeyed. Lyle added consecutive birdies at the 10th and 11th holes and never looked back.

"I got off to a good start," said Lyle. "After the bogey at the fourth hole I played just awesome. The way I'm playing I'm struggling to make bogeys, which is a good thing."

Lyle and Brigman are paired together for the final round. "It's going to be nice playing with D.J. again," said Lyle. "I played with him last week in the Open. He's a good dude and we'll have a bit of fun out there tomorrow and hopefully one of us will win."

Brigman started well with birdies at the first and fourth holes to extend his lead but lost his momentum with bogeys on Nos. 7 and 9.

"I was grazing edges all day long so it was a little frustrating," said Brigman. "I'm still in it. I don't know what tomorrow's going to bring but at least I have a chance. The birdie on the last got me a little closer."

Hagler, a Monday qualifier from nearby Chattanooga, started on the back nine and was 5 under after seven holes. Four birdies coming home added up to a course-record 63.

"My game wasn't much different from the first two days," said the 24-year-old Hagler. "I just made a lot of putts. It wasn't like I was knocking it a foot all day. The 3-footer on nine (his 18th) was the closest putt I made."

Hagler graduated from the University of Alabama, where his roommate was Michael Thompson, the 2007 U.S. Amateur finalist. Thompson is playing on the PGA TOUR this week at the Travelers Championship.

"It's hard to beat his headlines," said Hagler.

Perhaps Hagler will make his own headlines Sunday.

Final-Round News & Notes: The most difficult hole during the third round was No. 4, averaging 4.215. ... Caleb Marsh, the 19-year-old amateur, scored an eagle at the 521-yard, par-5 first hole for the second day in a row. ... Augusta, Ga., resident Scott Parel made two eagles in the third round. Parel holed a pitching wedge at the 368 yard, par-4 14th hole. He also made eagle at the par-5 first hole. ... Spencer Levin went 46 holes before recording his first bogey. ... Bob May aced the 219-yard 16th hole using a 4-iron. ... The third-round scoring average was 69.908, the lowest in 10 years at Fox Den CC.

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