MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Robert Garrigus is taking inspiration for his own game from his beloved Chicago Blackhawks.
“I figured … if the Blackhawks can win the Stanley Cup, I can win a PGA Tour event,” Garrigus said. “I kept thinking about the Blackhawks all day.”
It sure worked Saturday.
Still recovering from a bout of food poisoning, Garrigus got hot with his short putter and shot a 4-under 66 to break out of a pack and grab a two-stroke lead after three rounds at a steamy St. Jude Classic.
It’s the first time the 32-year-old pro has led a PGA Tour event by himself, and he surged to the top with four birdies and an eagle against two bogeys to reach 11-under 199.
Garrigus said he usually looks at leaderboards too much.
“I took a peek on No. 11, saw that I was right there near the lead or maybe birdied to take the lead or something like that. I just put it out of my head,” Garrigus said. “After that, I really didn’t look. I didn’t know what anybody was doing behind me. I was just concentrating on my game, which I should probably do tomorrow.
Swede Robert Karlsson, who shot a 68, is within striking distance of becoming the first European to win this event — the tour’s third oldest dating to 1958. He chipped in from 24 feet on No. 18 to stay close.
“My game I’m trying to get around. I’m very, very happy with it. I played well,” Karlsson said.
Englishman Lee Westwood, ranked No. 3, had led or had a share of the lead after the first two rounds. He had four bogeys and finished with a 71 that left him tied with Heath Slocum (66) at 8 under. He headed almost immediately to the putting green for more practice on his stroke.
“I’m only three back so anything can happen,” Westwood said.
Memphis native and 2003 PGA Championship winner Shaun Micheel (70) was tied with Tim Petrovic (70) and Lee Janzen (70) at 6 under.
With temperatures in the 90s and a heat index over 100 degrees, golfers turned Saturday into a race to the top of the leaderboard in this last tuneup for the U.S. Open. Westwood was the biggest name among the seven who had a share of the lead at some point until Garrigus’ putter got hot.
LPGA event postponed by rain
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The third round of the LPGA State Farm Classic has been postponed Saturday because of thunderstorms. Heavy rain suspended play for four hours before the round was halted with 46 players still on the course. The round is scheduled to resume at 5 a.m. PDT today, but rain is expected again. Second-round leader M.J. Hur and Cristie Kerr sit atop the leaderboard at 13 under.
Bjorn leads Estoril Open
ESTORIL, Portugal — Thomas Bjorn of Denmark shot a second straight 7-under 65 to take a three-stroke lead over streaking Richard Green of Australia at the Estoril Open on Saturday. Green equaled the 16-year-old course record with an 8-under 64 to get to 16 under. Ireland’s Damien McGrane was in third another two strokes back after a bogey-free 68. Argentina’s Daniel Vancsik (68), and Englishmen Robert Rock (68) and Robert Coles (69) were a shot further back. The 39-year-old Bjorn has not won since recording his ninth European Tour victory at the Irish Open in 2006.
U.S. takes lead in Curtis Cup
MANCHESTER-BY-THE-SEA, Mass. — The United States swept all three fourball matches at the Curtis Cup on Saturday to take a 5.5-3.5 lead over Great Britain and Ireland. Alexis Thompson, yet to lose a match, and Jessica Korda won the first three holes and then held off Danielle McVeigh and Pamela Pretswell 2 and 1 in the second day of the biennial competition at Essex County Club. Kimberly Kim sank an 8-foot birdie on the 17th hole and Stephanie Kono edged Sally Watson and Rachel Jennings 2 and 1. Jennifer Song had eight birdies in just 16 holes as she and Cydney Clanton defeated 15-year-old twins Lisa and Leona Maguire of Ireland 3 and 2. The Curtis Cup pits teams of eight female amateur golfers from the United States against a team from Great Britain and Ireland. The U.S. has won six straight matches and needs 10 points to retain the cup.