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Omar Uresti player to beat as 53rd PGA Professional Championship heads to final round at PGA Golf Club


PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Omar Uresti doesn’t hit the ball 330 yards. He doesn’t have a mullet or a catchy nickname. Heck, he’s sufficiently old (52) to be eligible for some AARP reductions.

All he has is a sport that travels – normally close to the highest of the leaderboard.

The Austin, Texas native has emerged as the player to beat at the 53rd PGA Professional Championship at PGA Golf Club.

Uresti began Tuesday with a one-shot lead, birdied 4 of the primary seven holes and signed for a 7-under 65 on the Wanamaker Course that left him with a seven-shot benefit coming into Wednesday’s final round.

At 15-under 200, he’s in an ideal spot to add to his victory within the 2017 PPC and his identify to the tee sheet for subsequent month’s PGA Championship at Kiawah Island.

All you possibly can say is “Oh, my” for a player trying to win at PGA Golf Club for the sixth time within the final three years.

“The ball striking was good early,” Uresti mentioned. “It got a little shaky near the end, but I was able to scramble. I made a lot of good putts today. I putted really well.

“I’ve gotten to know these courses. You have to hit it straight. You don’t have to hit it super long. Experience helps a lot here.”

When Uresti wasn’t making birdies, he bought up-and-down on three consecutive holes (9, 10 and 11) the place he missed the inexperienced. He is fourth for the event in greens in regulation, fifth in placing and has made one bogey in his final 47 holes.

“I have to try and keep playing the way I have been playing,” Uresti mentioned. “I know they’re going to come after me. I can’t let up. I have to keep playing smart golf.”

At the opposite finish of the age scale, Larkin Gross of Center Cross, Virginia, at 23 the youngest player within the area, made the largest transfer Tuesday. He shot an 8-under 64 – thanks to 11 birdies – to vault from nineteenth to a second-place tie with Ben Cook (70) of Vero Beach.

Gross’ rating may have been higher with no double bogey on the second, a bogey at the eleventh and a drive into the penalty space for a par at the reachable par-5 sixteenth. The 64 tied the bottom third round in PPC historical past.

“I just went out and tried to play freely and make some aggressive swings,” Gross mentioned. “It helped that I had my dad (Roger) on the bag. He simply stored reminding me, ‘Remember what we talked about on the range … make aggressive swings.’ “

Gross and Cook are the one two gamers inside 9 pictures of Uresti. Tim Pearce (68) of Birmingham, Michigan, is fourth at 5-under 205, a shot forward of Colin Inglis (71) of Creswell, Oregon, Ben Polland (70) of Bloomington, Minnesota, Rob Labritz (72) of Pound Ridge, New York, and first-round chief Frank Bensel Jr. (75) of Jupiter, Florida.

While Uresti seems headed for the win, the remainder of the 72 gamers who made the 54-hole lower have one objective: To end within the high 20 to earn a spot in subsequent month’s PGA Championship at Kiawah Island. Only 20 gamers advance to Kiawah, so there will likely be a playoff if there are ties.

John O’Leary of Sterling, Virginia, shot 69 to transfer into ninth place at 3-under 212 with Cody Haughton (71) of Canton, Michigan. Sonny Skinner of Sylvester, Georgia, shot 70 to transfer into eleventh place at 1-under 214 alongside Marty Jertson (70) of Phoenix and Brad Marek (75) of Berkeley, California.

Tied for 14th at 1-under 214, are Yong Joo (68) of Ashburn, Virginia, Tom Cooper (68) of Glen Cove, New York, Greg Koch (71) of Orlando, Patrick Rada (71) of Jupiter, Derek Holmes (71) of Cottage Grove, Minnesota, and Joe Summerhays (74) of Syracuse, Utah.

Tied for twentieth, hoping to keep away from a playoff are Zac Oakley (70) of Lewes, Delaware, Peter Ballo (70) of Stamford, Connecticut, Tyler Collet (71) of Vero Beach, Eric Williamson (72) of Shoal Creek, Mark Geddes (72) of Coronado, California, Bob Sowards (73) of Dublin, Ohio, Mick Smith (73) of Sumit, Wisconsin, and Jim Troy (74) of Strongsville, Ohio.

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