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Golf - Cabrera Bello cards 65 to earn share of St. Jude lead
June 11, 2017 / 3:47 AM / 5 months ago

Golf - Cabrera Bello cards 65 to earn share of St. Jude lead

(Reuters) - Spaniard Rafa Cabrera Bello chipped in on successive holes on his way to a five-under 65 and a share of the lead after the third round at the St. Jude Classic in Memphis, Tennessee on Saturday.

Jun 10, 2017; Memphis, TN, USA; Rafa Cabrera Bello celebrates after chipping in for birdie on the third hole during the third round of the FedEx St. Jude Classic golf tournament at TPC Southwind. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Americans Stewart Cink (69) and Ben Crane (68) joined Cabrera Bello at the top on a crowded leaderboard, with eight players bunched within two strokes with one round left at TPC Southwind.

There is never a bad time to chip in, but Cabrera Bello’s first hole-out, from 50 feet at the par-five third, steadied the ship after a morale-sapping bogey at the first.

“The chip-in for sure took the pressure off the round a little bit and helped me find my game,” said Cabrera Bello, who subsequently holed out from 30 feet at the par-three fourth and then completed a hat-trick of birdies by sinking a 20-foot putt at the next.

“I’m playing good. I’m confident on the greens. I think I’m playing this course in a smart way well and obviously putting good.”

Cabrera Bello, in his first season as a PGA Tour member, observed that course conditions often changed drastically during tournament week.

“It’s like a live creature and it changes,” the world number 30 said colourfully. “The pro-am Wednesday has nothing to do with how firm it was today and I can only imagine how hard it will be tomorrow.”

Former British Open champion Cink had a tale of two halves, a strong front nine giving way to a two-over back nine that included three bogeys.

But he did enough to join the log-jam atop the leaderboard at nine-under 201, as did Crane, the 2014 champion, who had two birdies in a bogey-free round.

Americans Chad Campbell and Luke List trailed by one stroke, while South African Charl Schwartzel, who had a share of the halfway lead, regressed with a 74 to fall four strokes off the pace.

Five-times major winner Phil Mickelson also fell four back after slicing his tee shot into a water hazard for a closing double-bogey, while former world number one Adam Scott trailed by five.

Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Alan Baldwin / Ian Ransom

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