GREENSBORO, N.C. — Nick Watney birdied the final hole for a 5-under 65 and a one-stroke lead Saturday after the third round of the Wyndham Championship.
Watney made a 20-foot birdie putt from the right edge of the green on the par-4 18th. The five-time PGA Tour winner had a 14-under 196 total at Sedgefield Country Club.
Brad Fritsch was second after a 65.
Freddie Jacobson and second-round co-leader Heath Slocum were 12 under. Jacobson shot a 66, and Slocum had a 68.
Former Wyndham winners Brandt Snedeker and Webb Simpson joined second-round co-leader Scott Langley at 11 under in the final event of the PGA Tour’s regular season. Snedeker and Simpson shot 66, and Langley had a 69.
Fritsch was the first to 13 under, but Watney joined him with a birdie on the par-5 15th — his second of the week on that hole.
Then came the sequence that gave him sole possession of the lead, and it came on the second-toughest hole of the day.
Watney plopped his fairway shot from 180 yards onto the right edge of the green, then calmly rolled in his putt for just the fifth birdie of the day on 18.
That put him in great position for his second top-10 finish of the year and his first victory since he won The Barclays in 2012.
Fritsch — a Canadian who played college golf at Campbell and lives in the Raleigh suburb of Holly Springs — said he asked the officials at the first tee to announce him as a North Carolinian.
“Just so people would know (and) get a little focus off Webb and a little onto me,” Fritsch said with a laugh.
He was the first to get to 13 under when he birdied the par-3 16th after placing his tee shot about 15 feet from the flagstick.
Fritsch, who is playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, put himself in position to challenge for his first victory on tour and his third top-10 finish.
He’s also got a shot at making the postseason after arriving at Sedgefield Country Club at No. 163. The top 125 qualify for The Barclays next week in New Jersey.
He came to this tournament last year at No. 128 last year but missed the cut — and the playoffs.
Andres Romero had the day’s best round, a 64, and Kevin Foley and David Toms, a former LSU standout, each hit holes-in-one. Foley aced the par-3 12th with a 5-iron a few minutes before Toms did it on the par-3 seventh.
But so far, the story at Sedgefield Country Club has been its tightly-packed leaderboard. Thirteen players enter the final round within three strokes of the lead.
When the second-round co-leaders finally teed off midway through the afternoon, four other players had already joined them atop the field at 10 under.
And by the time the Slocum-Langley pairing had finished its 10th hole, there were five players — including those two — sharing the lead at 12 under.
Lincicome maintains LEAD: In Pittsford, N.Y., Brittany Lincicome maintained her lead Saturday in the LPGA Championship, the tour’s fourth major championship of the season.
The long-hitting Lincicome began the day at Monroe Golf Club with a three-shot advantage over Inbee Park and Lexi Thompson and shot 1-under 71 to finish at 10-under 206.
With one round left, Lincicome was a shot ahead of Park and Suzann Pettersen. Pettersen had a 67 and Park shot 69.
Mirim Lee was alone in fourth at 7 under after a 69. Seventeen-year-old Lydia Ko had a 71 to join Meena Lee and Gerina Piller at 6 under. Piller shot 69, and Lee had a 71.
Thompson finished with a 74 and was at 4 under.
Lincicome won the 2009 Kraft Nabisco for her lone major title and has five LPGA Tour victories. The United States is seeking to win its fourth straight major title of the season.
Pettersen has five top-5s in her last eight majors, including a victory last year in the Evian Championship, and she continued her solid play when it matters most, reeling off four birdies on the back nine.
“I seem to like the back nine. I like what I see,” Pettersen said. “I managed to make a move. It’s nice to make a charge. I actually could have had a couple more.”
Fighting nervousness, Lincicome hadn’t held a second-round lead since 2009 and never in a major.
“Nervous was probably an understatement. My stomach was in knots,” Lincicome said. “When it came time to eat lunch, it just wasn’t happening because I haven’t been in this position in a while. Hopefully, going into tomorrow it’s out of my system.”
Lincicome is 11 under on the par 5s, a distinct advantage over most of her challengers.
Warren joins Dredge in lead of Made in Denmark: In Aalborg, Denmark, Scotland’s Marc Warren mastered strong winds to shoot a 5-under 66 on Saturday and join Bradley Dredge of Wales for a share of the lead after the third round of Made in Denmark.
Warren surged 12 places up the leaderboard to sit tied with Dredge on 6-under 207, three shots ahead of Garteh Maybin.
of Northern Ireland and England’s Simon Wakefield.
Dredge, a two-time winner of the European Tour, held a four-shot lead after the second round but only managed a 73 after mixing four bogeys with two birdies.
Warren had eight birdies and three bogeys.
Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn, who is hoping to wrap up a Ryder Cup spot, also made a 73 to drop into a tie for eighth.