October 12 2013
By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
SAN MARTIN, Calif. -- Brooks Koepka's lead grew Saturday at the Frys.com Open after the 23-year-old shot 4-under 67. Koepka, playing his first PGA TOUR event (excluding majors) will start Sunday's final round two shots ahead of George McNeill and Jason Kokrak.
Koepka, of Wellington, Fla., has European Tour status after winning three times on the Challenge Tour, Europe's version of the Web.com Tour, in 2013. He's trying to gain status on his home tour, as well. He could accomplish that with a win Sunday.
Koepka made six birdies and two bogeys Saturday. He has 21 birdies through three rounds, the most in the field.
Kokrak made birdies on final two holes Saturday to get into the last threesome for the second consecutive day. His third-round 68 included an eagle-2 on the first hole after he holed out from 130 yards. McNeill shot 62 on Saturday, matching the course record in this event. He had 10 birdies and one bogey Saturday.
McNeill and Koepka are both Florida State alums, as is the 2012 Frys.com Open champion, Jonas Blixt. Koepka called McNeill for advice after qualifying for last year's U.S. Open. They will play with Kokrak in Sunday's final threesome.
Kokrak also is seeking his first PGA TOUR victory; he was runner-up at this event last year. McNeill has won twice on TOUR, but neither victory qualified him for the Masters. "I'm trying to set the record for most wins without making the Masters," he joked Saturday. The winner of this event will earn a Masters invitation, as well as 500 FedExCup points.
Koepka turned pro in June 2012 and headed to the Challenge Tour after receiving a handful of sponsor exemptions. He won his eighth start on that circuit and returned to the Challenge Tour after failing to advance out of the second stage of last year's q-school. He quickly won three times on the Challenge Tour to earn European Tour status for the remainder of this year and 2014.