Steve Stricker carded a 3-under 67 on Saturday to hold a one-shot lead over Alex Cejka of Germany after three rounds of the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship in Tulsa, Okla.
Stricker is at 6-under 204 entering the final round. He played 29 holes at Southern Hills Country Club on Saturday after second-round play on Friday was suspended due to weather.
Cejka shot a 68 on Saturday. He only played 18 holes as he got his entire second round completed before play was called.
Canada’s Mike Weir struggled to a 4-over 74 and is three shots off the pace. Tim Petrovic (68 in third round) and South Korea’s K.J. Choi (71) are tied for fifth at 1-under 209.
Weir held a four-shot lead entering the day.
Stricker recorded five birdies against two bogeys in the third round. While completing his second round, he made an eagle on the par-4, 10th hole.
Stricker, who is seeking his third major crown, said he plans to play more aggressively in the final round.
“I’ve been playing pretty conservatively here all the way around, I think,” Stricker said. “Trying to miss it in the correct spots. It’s easier said than done, but yeah, I have just been really grinding on where the proper spots are to hit it on the green and sometimes you just have to stand up there and hit the shot too.”
Cejka got off to a disastrous start with bogeys on Nos. 1 and 2. He steadied his game and ended up four birdies, three coming over the last seven holes.
Cejka and Stricker saw a lot of each other three weeks ago in the Regions Tradition at Birmingham, Ala.
Cejka, who only made the field at that major tournament when Jay Haas withdrew three days before the start, beat Stricker in a playoff to win in just his third Champions start.
Now the duo will be playing in the same pairing, again battling to win a major title.
“He’s such a great player. He’s a tough nut to crack,” Cejka said of Stricker. “So I’m going to have to play really good golf, be lucky. Again, it all depends who is going to play better (Sunday). It’s actually very simple. Who is going to play better, who is going to have a great chance of winning this tournament.”
Stricker relishes another chance at Cejka but is well aware there is a lot of work to do.
“I’m going to have my hands full,” Stricker said of Cejka. “I mean he’s been playing great and I’m going to have to take care of my own self, my own game and hopefully put up a good score, just because I know how well he’s been playing and the confidence level that he has must be high if he’s right up there again this week.”
Weir never put it together in the third round before a disastrous stretch on the back nine derailed his round.
Weir shot a double-bogey on No. 12 and bogeyed holes Nos 13, 15 and 16. His lone birdie on the day was at No. 3.
“I was just a little off with my game and this is a tough golf course, demanding golf course and it will bite you,” Weir said. “And I got bit a little bit today on the back side. I’ll go try to iron a couple things out here and try to get a good attitude, some good rest and get ready for (Sunday).”
Jerry Kelly (69), who carded the lone bogey-free round of the day on Saturday, and Australia’s Stephen Leaney (71) are tied for sixth at even-par 210. Kenny Perry (71) and South Africa’s Retief Goosen (70) are tied for eighth at 211.
–Field Level Media
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