Ricky Barnes seeks his first PGA Tour win of his career as he takes a one stroke lead into the final round of the Valero Texas Open.
Barnes fires 67 to claim 54 hole lead
The American, whose best previous finish in 221 career starts was a runner up finish at the 2009 U.S. Open, birdied 11, 12 and 14 to grab the outright lead over Brendan Steele. Despite a bogey at 18, Barnes will go into Sunday's final round in pole position. He shared his thoughts after the round: "I'd be lying if I would say it was a successful career being out here without a win," Barnes said. "This is why you play the game, right? Come in on Sundays and have a chance to win.It's not a fluke being out here," said Barnes, coming off a ninth-place tie in the RBC Heritage.
"I've been showing a lot lately. Just need to keep what I'm doing the last three days." He spoke about his final drive at 18: "A bad swing at the end," Barnes said. "If you told me 5 under today, I would have taken it before the round."
Steele settles for 72, second place heading into Sunday
Steele, a former champion in 2011 at San Antonio for his lone tour win, led after each of the first two days, but watched as Barnes made up five shots on him in Saturday's third round. He shared his thoughts on Barnes and his round in general: "I played with Ricky last week, and his game is looking really good right now," said Steele. "I was really struggling. I was able to make enough recovery shots to not make many mistakes and I was able to be patient enough and make a couple of birdies at the end."
Big names lurking behind Barnes and Steele
Luke Donald, In contention for the second straight week after another runner-up finish last week at the RBC Heritage, Is two behind at nine under after a Saturday 68. He spoke about having another chance to win: "Sure feels good to be back in contention again and having chances to win," Donald said. "I switched putters last week [and] obviously making more putts."
Tied with Donald is Charley Hoffman, who shot a third-round 70. San Antonio native Patrick Reed also carded a third-round 70 for a three-day total of eight under. In a pack at seven under are former FedEx Cup champion Billy Horschel and three-time major winner Padraig Harrington. Horschel talked confidently of his chances: "I think if I'm in command of my game, it doesn't matter where I am," Horschel said. "I can get the job done. I've figured out something in my swing."