Published: Mon, October 14, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Golf highlights: Peter Malnati moves to top of leaderboard at Houston Open

Golf highlights: Peter Malnati moves to top of leaderboard at Houston Open

Also in at 67 was Braden Bailey, a collegian playing for Baylor as recently as last spring who like Hammer, received a sponsor's exemption and is making his PGA Tour debut.

Lanto Griffin "free-wheeled" his way to a seven-under par 65 on Saturday to seize a one-shot lead in the Houston Open in pursuit of his first US PGA Tour title.

Griffin, who turned things around after a second round 74, birdied three straight holes through No. 5 and collected six birdies on the back nine before making his second bogey of the round at the hard 18th while posting a 54-hole score of 11-under 205. "I'm just looking forward and I'm ready to go already". I'm so proud of the way I hung in there. A couple of underwhelming wedge shots may have cost him back-nine birdies.

What it means: Griffin started the day with a one-shot lead, but a fast start from Hubbard meant the two men in the final pairing were neck and neck across the back nine. Unfortunately I wasn't very good at all three so I started playing golf.

The highest-ranked player in the field when the tournament began, Sweden's Henrik Stenson at 37th, failed to make the even-par cut.

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Hubbard, another victor on the Korn Ferry Tour last season who also is seeking his first PGA Tour title, made a 19-foot putt on the 17th hole for his third straight birdie and sank a nine-footer to save par on the last hole of a second straight 69. "I don't know why", he said in a greenside interview after carding three-under-par 69 to edge fellow Americans Scott Harrington and Mark Hubbard by one stroke.

Austin Cook, who shared the first-round lead, was two-over through 15 holes but still just four shots off the pace.

Hubbard had one last chance with a bold tee shot on the 18th, one of the toughest driving holes on the PGA TOUR with water down the left side and a large bunker to the right. "I really did", he said.

Best of the rest: Harrington was battling for his card two months ago at the Korn Ferry season finale, but after successfully enduring that pressure-cooker he now has a new career-best finish as a 38-year-old rookie.

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