WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- Johnson Wagner has birdied three of his last four holes to open a two-stroke advantage as the third round of The Greenbrier Classic winds down.
Wagner, who used to play The Old White TPC several times a year while a student at Virginia Tech, made an 18-footer at the ninth hole, an 8-footer at No. 10 and a 12-footer at the 12th hole to move to 13 under.
Jimmy Walker is the nearest competitor to Wagner, who held a share of the lead after a first-round 62. The Texan, who is looking for his first PGA TOUR victory, is 5 under through 14 holes.
Matt Jones and Steven Bowditch, a pair of Australians who have yet to win on TOUR, are tied for third at 9 under. Jones shot a 66 while Bowditch is 1 under through 11 holes.
Bill Haas, who won last week's AT&T National, is among a big group at 8 under after a 66. Also finished at that number is Pat Perez, who shot 66, and Rory Sabbatini, who had a third-round 67.
Jordan Spieth, Jonas Blitx, Ben Curtis and Bill Lunde are all on the course at 8 under for the tournament.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- Scott Stallings was happy to be putting his John Hancock on his scorecard after the third round of The Greenbrier Classic.
And not just because a second-straight 67 had moved the 2011 champ to 6 under for the tournament.
Stallings actually was glad to be finished because had battled a stomach bug all day long -- which made his round of 3 under even more satisfying.
"Right in the middle of eating breakfast, I don't know if I ate something funny or this and that, but I felt fine when I woke up," Stallings said. "After breakfast I kind of got on the range and started feeling kind of funny. It's starting to go away, so hopefully it will pass and I'll be ready for tomorrow."
Stallings, who beat Bill Haas and Bob Estes in a playoff in 2011 to earn his first PGA TOUR victory, got things going on the back nine Saturday with a trio of birdies. He said The Old White TPC was being generous on Saturday but capitalizing early is key.
"The altitude and the temperature definitely plays a difference in your wedge shots and how you flight them," Stallings said. " If you get up in the air, the ball will definitely go, but if you keep it down and expect the altitude to get it, it's not going to go. It's kind of weird. It's all an adjustment. "
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- When Matt Every teed off at 1:50 p.m. in the third round of The Greenbrier Classic he already had company at the top of the leaderboard.
And by the time Every finished the first hole, unable to get up and down from the greenside bunker, he was two strokes behind Johnson Wagner. The first-round co-leader made 10-foot birdie putts at Nos. 1 and 3 to get to 10 under.
Morgan Hoffman and Jonas Blixt were one stroke behind Wagner. Hoffman has played his first 12 holes in 5 under while Blixt has two birdies in his first five holes.
Matt Jones, who birdied his last six holes on Friday to go from nearly missing the cut into contention, has continued to play well in the third round. He's made three birdies in his first 10 holes and is tied with Bill Lunde, Steven Bowditch and daniel Summerhays at 8 under.
Gary Woodland tied his low round of the season on Saturday.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- Gary Woodland is a realist.
He was very pleased with the 64 he shot in the third round of The Greenbrier Classic, but he knew his position in the top 10 on the leaderboard likely wouldn't stand when Saturday's competition was complete. Not when The Old White TPC was being so generous and so many people seemed to be taking advantage.
"The leaders, they're probably not even at lunch yet," Woodland said with a wry smile. "So hopefully I'm not too far back and I can make a run at it tomorrow."
Woodland started the third round well off the pace at 1 under after making the cut on the number. But he made five birdies and an eagle before making his lone bogey at the 18th hole to tie his best round of the season and vault into the mix.
"It was nice to get off early," said Woodland, who played in the fourth group of the day. "The greens were perfect this morning, so fortunately I hit it well and gave myself some chances. Still left some out there, obviously tough making bogey on the last, but all in all I played well today and hopefully moved up quite a bit."
Woodland has missed two cuts at The Greenbrier Classic but he also finished one shot out of the playoff in 2011. Saturday's round of 6 under was his career low at The Old White TPC.
"The golf course suits me well, I'm playing well, suits me well," Woodland said. "So hopefully, like I said, hopefully I'm within striking distance and I'll get a low one tomorrow."
Woodland has dealt with an injury to his left hand for the better part of the last 18 months. He also sought the counsel of Butch Harmon and his son Claude to re-tool his swing.
"This game's tough enough when you're healthy let alone when you're battling injuries for that long," Woodland said. "You add the swing changes and that in there, it was a tough year and a half, but we've turned the corner and we're working upwards now."
Woodland declares himself healthy and appears to have turned the corner of late with three top-20 finishes in his last four starts. He's swinging more aggressively -- more like he did in 2011 when he won his first PGA TOUR event and ranked fifth in driving distance.
"It was as frustrating probably as I've ever been in my career and then it's satisfying right now because I'm starting to play good and we're starting to see more and more results," Woodland said.
Like on Saturday at The Old White TPC.
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- Matt Every knows there are low scores to be had on Saturday on The Old White TPC.
All the man who takes a one-stroke lead into the third round of The Greenbrier Classic needs to do is look at the early results on the scenic par-70 layout. All but four of the first 17 scores posted have been in the 60s.
When Every finished off his 62 -- the third round of 8 under shot this week -- on Friday there were 22 players within two strokes of his lead. Interestingly, the lead only increased by one stroke over the previous day but the scoring average was .457 lower at 69.639.
Here are some players to watch as the afternoon's action unfolds.
Kenny Perry: The 52-year-old won the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship last weekend. He starts the third round at The Greenbrier Classic four strokes off Matt Every's lead at 5 under.
Ted Potter Jr.: Potter, who shot a 66 in the second round, is playing very well in his title defense. He's only four off the lead and clearly has a comfort zone at the Old White TPC.
Bill Haas: Last week's winner of the AT&T National was a playoff loser at the Greenbrier Classic in 2011. In 10 previous rounds at The Old White TPC, Haas, who was 5 under through 36 holes, has broken par eight times so he knows how to score here.
Tommy Gainey: The first-round co-leader threatened to break out of the pack early on Friday, opening a two-stroke lead through his first five holes. But he shot 3 over on his final nine and starts the third round trailing by two.
Russell Henley: Henley, who is in the logjam at 8 under, got his rookie season off to a bang when he won the Sony Open in Hawaii but has been relatively quiet since. He does have two other top-10s, most recently a tie for sixth at the Memorial Tournament.
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- So far, so good at The Greenbrier Classic.
The skies above The Old White TPC are partly cloudy and there is a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms as the afternoon progresses. The tournament stayed dry under similar forecasts the last two days, though.
But an upper level low pressure system moving toward the Allegheny Mountains overnight brings a bigger threat of storms for Sunday afternoon. The chance of precipitation is 60 percent with the high in the mid-70s.