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January 19 2013

2:23 PM

Castro opens two-stroke edge

LA QUINTA, Calif. -- Roberto Castro reeled off three straight birdies on the front nine at La Quinta Saturday and has opened a two-stroke advantage in the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation.

Scott Stallings, who has made a birdie and an eagle in his first six holes on the Nicklaus Course, is alone in second at 16 under. Darron Stiles, Ricky Barnes and Kevin Stadler, whose father Craig won this tournament in 1980, are another stroke behind.

Stewart Cink, who has gone back to a more fundamental approach with his swing after a lackluster 2012 campaign, heads a group of seven players tied at 14 under. Also in that logjam are James Hahn, who held a share of the lead after each of the first two rounds, Charles Howell III, Charley Hoffman, Greg Chalmers, rookie David Lingmerth and Jason Kokrak.

With the cut looming Saturday afternoon, there are currently 78 players at 8 under or better. The number does not include four-time major champion Phil Mickelson, who has birdied two of his first three holes at the Palmer Course and is 7 under for the tournament.

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