ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Chris Kirk and Briny Baird each birdied the 18th hole to break from the pack Saturday at The McGladrey Classic, but not by much.
Kirk and Baird will take a one-shot lead to the final round at Sea Island, where there are 14 players within five strokes of their lead with 18 holes to go.
Baird, looking to win for the first time in 365 career starts on the PGA TOUR, shot 67, while Kirk, a former resident who still keeps a house here, shot 68.
The day's best score belonged to Kevin Stadler, who birdied four of his last six holes for a 65 to get into a three-way tie with Brian Gay and John Senden a stroke back.
Brendon Todd and Scott Brown were another shot back at 8 under, while Matt Kuchar and Webb Simpson were among four players at 6 under.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Kevin Stadler thought about skipping The McGladrey Classic.
But, as he put it, he had nothing else better to do this week. Said Stadler, "I've only played here once and it's a good ball-striker's track and I figured after next week we're about to have two months off, so might as well come give it a shot."
It turned out to be a pretty good decision.
Stadler will be looking for his first career PGA TOUR win Sunday at Sea Island, where he's just a shot off the lead after a 65 in the third round.
Though Stadler has a pair of top-30 finishes this season, including a tie for 19th at last month's CIMB Classic, he hasn't always been comfortable out here.
You wouldn't have known it Saturday. Stadler closed with four birdies over his final six holes for the best score of the day.
"It took me quite a while to kind of feel like I belonged out here and to just settle in," Stadler said. "I've been out here quite a while now and haven't had too many shots to win, but plenty of times around other tours and whatnot, so certainly looking forward to (Sunday)."
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Brian Gay played his first nine holes of the third round of The McGladrey Classic in 4 under, bringing him to 9 under overall and to the top of the leaderboard.
He isn't alone, however, with John Senden and Briny Baird also 9 under -- both are 2 under through eight and seven holes, respectively.
In all, eight players are currently within three shots of the lead at Sea Island. Webb Simpson was one of them -- until he double-bogeyed the par-5 seventh hole, where pushed his tee shot right and into the water.
Gay, by the way, is one of three players in the field this week who also played in last week's World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in China.
A long way to go, yes, but so far a worthwhile trip.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Leader Chris Kirk is about 20 minutes from teeing off at Sea Island, where he'll be greeted by much different conditions than he faced on Friday when the wind blew consistently between 25 and 30 mph.
Saturday, that number will drop to the 10-15 mph range.
How much has the wind affected scoring so far?
Just look at the numbers (see chart below) from the first round, when there was hardly a breath of wind, and the second, when it howled.
Scoring averages at the par-70 Seaside Course:
|Front 9||Back 9||Total||Cumulative|
Last year, by the way, the cumulative scoring average was 69.281.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- The second round of The McGladrey Classic resumed at 8 a.m. ET Saturday and was completed just under an hour later.
Eighteen players had failed to finish when play was suspended due to darkness on Friday.
The cut was 1 over, and defending champion Tommy Gainey (70-74) and tournament host Davis Love III (75-74) both missed the cut.
Conditions were far different than the winds seen on Friday. Winds were expected to be much calmer for the third round, which will begin later Saturday morning off split tees.
The start of the third round is at 9:30 a.m. ET, with the leaders teeing off at 11:50 a.m.