Hadley claims lead in Puerto Rico

The Sports NetworkMarch 7, 2014 

Rio Grande, PR (SportsNetwork.com) - Chesson Hadley carded a 5-under 67 on Saturday to earn a 1-stroke lead at the Puerto Rico Open.

Hadley finished three rounds at Trump International Golf Club at 16-under-par 200. He will try for his first career win on the PGA Tour on Sunday.

"I'm going to go at just about every flag (on Sunday)," Hadley said. "You got to stay aggressive out here. I've learned that. You know, for me, if I kind of take the foot off the pedal a little bit, I'll kind of lose focus and you know, I won't be as sharp as I would like to be, so I plan on being really aggressive, and you know, if I can shoot another 5-, 6-, 7-under tomorrow, I think we'll be in good shape."

Danny Lee (66) is alone in second place at 15-under, while Jason Gore (66) and Jonathan Byrd (67) share third at 14-under 202.

Carl Pettersson (66), Jerry Kelly (67) and David Toms (67) are tied for fifth at minus-13, a shot ahead of Rafael Cabrera-Bello (68) and George McNeill (68).

James Driscoll entered the day with a 1-stroke lead, but Hadley quickly erased that deficit with a birdie at the second before claiming the lead with another gain at the third, moving him to 13-under.

After Lee birdied three straight from the fourth to join Driscoll in second place, Hadley picked up another shot at the fifth to move two clear of the field.

Hadley then made it two birdies in a row at the sixth to reach 15-under and earn a 3-stroke lead over Driscoll, Lee and Roach, who followed an opening bogey with birdies at the second, third, fifth and seventh to move to 12- under.

Driscoll lost his share of second with a bogey at the sixth and was replaced when Pettersson recorded his sixth birdie of the day at the 12th. His other birdies came at Nos. 2, 4, 5, 7 and 8 following a bogey at the first.

Roach fell out of second with a bogey at the 10th, but bounced back with a birdie at the 12th to again reach 12-under.

Lee broke from the pack with a birdie at the 13th to claim sole possession of second place, but he could not hang on and bogeyed the 14th to drop back to minus-12.

Byrd made it a four-way tie for second place with a birdie at the 13th, snapping a streak of seven straight pars.

The jostling behind Hadley continued when Pettersson birdied the 17th and Lee birdied the 15th to move within two of the lead at 13-under.

But Hadley, who had followed his birdie at the sixth with seven consecutive pars, answered with a birdie at the 14th to reach 16-under and regain his 3- stroke advantage.

Byrd would join Pettersson and Lee at 13-under with a birdie at the 15th before Lee continued to roll in birdies at the 16th and 17th to pull within one of the lead.

Lee parred the 18th to finish at 15-under, while Byrd birdied the 18th to end at minus-14.

Hadley parred his final four holes to maintain his 1-stroke lead heading into the final round.

"I missed quite a few putts, a lot of putts the last 11 holes, but you know what, we're right where we need to be," said Hadley. "I'm leading, and you know, that's great."

Gore had played his first 11 holes at 1-over with a pair of bogeys and a birdie before posting a red-hot closing stretch of seven straight birdies from the 12th to race into contention at 14-under.

NOTES: This is the first time in Hadley's PGA Tour career he has held the lead at the end of any round ... Gore's seven straight birdies tied the longest stretch of the season. Troy Matteson also recorded seven straight at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in October ... Driscoll carded a 3-over 75 to fall into a share of 20th place at 9-under 207 ... With more than 78 players making Friday's cut, there was a secondary cut to the low 70 players and ties Saturday.

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