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13D AGO

Chris Gotterup takes four-shot lead in Myrtle Beach Classic; 16-year-old Blades Brown tied for 22nd

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    Written by Associated Press

    MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) — Chris Gotterup shot a 6-under 65 on Saturday to push his lead to four strokes with a round left in the PGA TOUR’s inaugural Myrtle Beach Classic.

    After opening 66-64 to take a one-stroke lead into the day, Gotterup had seven birdies and a bogey on a sunny afternoon with the breeze only gusting to 12 mph at The Dunes Golf and Beach Club. He capped the round with a 17-foot birdie putt on the par-4 18th.

    “That birdie on the last was huge,” Gotterup said. “I was kind of in not a great spot over there on the right, but hit a great shot and finished it off with a really nice putt.”

    The 24-year-old former University of Oklahoma player is trying to break through with his first PGA TOUR victory in his 27th start. He had an 18-under 195 total, with the four-stroke lead matching the largest on TOUR this season.


    Chris Gotterup takes four-stroke lead into Sunday at Myrtle Beach


    “I practiced all those days at home for a day like tomorrow,” Gotterup said. “It’s going to be hard. There’s a lot of good guys behind me. I’m going to have to bring it. But if I was here at the beginning of the week and you said this was going to happen, I’d be all in. I’m excited. It’s what I play the game for.”

    Erik van Rooyen (65), Jorge Campillo (67) and Robert MacIntyre (68) were tied for second in the tournament being held opposite the Wells Fargo Championship, a Signature Event in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Myrtle Beach winner will get a spot in the PGA Championship next week, but not in the Masters or a guaranteed spot in the remaining two $20 million signature events.

    Van Rooyen is a two-time winner on the PGA TOUR. He’s the only player in the top six with a victory.

    Blades Brown, the second 16-year-old in two weeks to make a cut, was tied for 22nd at 8-under after a bogey-free 66. Last week, Kris Kim advanced to the weekend in THE CJ CUP Byron Nelson.

    “I felt so relaxed on that first tee shot today, not having to grind,” Brown said. “I didn’t really have any expectations of myself today, and I was able to go out and play free and focused golf.”

    Brown, from Nashville, Tennessee, is high school sophomore. His mother, Rhonda Blades Brown, played two seasons in the WNBA.

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