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May 28 2011

10:08 PM

Tough conditions leave Palmer on top

IRVING, Texas – Wind gusts up to 35 mph created tough scoring conditions in Saturday’s third round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship It also produced a bunched-up leaderboard going into Sunday’s final 18 holes.

Ryan Palmer will take a one-shot lead going into Sunday’s final round, with Sergio Garcia his closest competitor.

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Palmer

Those two had a chance to separate themselves from the pack but they gave up strokes down the stretch -- as did almost everybody else in the field Saturday. As a result, that brought several players back into the chase.

Palmer was 8 under through 13 holes and had a two-shot lead over Garcia. But he suffered three bogeys in his final five holes to finish with a 3-over 73 that leaves him at 5 under for the tournament.

“My bad round’s out of the way,” Palmer said, “and I still lead by one.”

Garcia was still at 6 under through 15 holes, but he bogeyed two of his last three holes to fall to 4 under.

“I got nothing out of my round,” Garcia said. “I could not shoot one shot higher than I did today. So if you look at it that way, and I'm only one shot back behind Ryan, and I have tomorrow, I think it's pretty positive.”

Both players will be paired together for the second consecutive day in the final pairing at 1:15 p.m. ET.

Thanks to posting the lowest round of the day – a  3-under 67 – Arjun Atwal moved into a tie for third with Ryuji Imada, who shot an even-par 70. Both are at 3 under.

“It was truly a really tough day today,” Atwal said. “There’s not too many birdies out there. I mean, par’s really good on almost every hole, and I’m just lucky to shoot 67.”

Gary Woodland, Matt Kuchar and Joe Ogilvie are another shot back at 2 under.

Dallas 17-year-old amateur Jordan Spieth shot a 2-over 72 and is 1 under for the tournament.

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