Date: July 15, 2007

Green poised for maiden victory

Nathan Green took another step towards a maiden PGA Tour victory as the Australian carded a three-under-par 68 to maintain a one-shot lead after three rounds of the John Deere Classic on Saturday. Green, who started the day with a one-stroke cushion, recorded six birdies against three bogeys at TPC Deere Run to move to 15 under par. After firing a spectacular eight under 63 on Friday, Green looked on course to repeat the feat after birdies at the first, fifth, sixth and eighth improved his score to 16 under through eight holes. But the 32-year-old faltered with a pair of bogeys at the 10th and 11th before bouncing back with birdies on the next two holes. Another bogey on the par-five 17th followed before Green finished his round with a par on the 18th. “It is hard to commit 100% to shots when you&aposre so worried about the outcome,” he said. “But this week has been a little bit different. Today, especially on the front nine, I know I pretty much hit most shots where I wanted to hit them. Hopefully I can do more of that.” Boasting just seven top-10 finishes in his one-and-a-half seasons on the PGA Tour, Green recorded his best career finish last year at the Buick Invitational when he was the runner-up to Tiger Woods. “I think you probably look at leaderboards a little bit and realise – you&aposre always curious about what&aposs going on,” added Green, who has never led a tournament through three rounds. “If you&aposre behind you&aposre trying to make as many birdies as you can. “I think a little bit, especially toward the back nine, you sort of have to play a little bit according to your position.” Tim Clark made a late charge to finish his round in sole possession of second place at 14 under. The South African recorded seven birdies – including three in a row to end his round – against just two bogeys to card a five under par round of 66 as he also bids for an inaugural PGA victory. “I&aposm looking for my first win out here too,” said Clark. “You can throw me in that same boat. Everyone out here on the leaderboard is a great player, so it&aposs certainly going to take a low round for someone to win.” American Jonathan Byrd climbed to third after firing a six-under–par 65 on Saturday. The man from South Carolina was tied with Clark for second overall before bogeying the 18th. Americans Brian Gay and Kenny Perry are tied for fourth overall at 12 under par. Results from round three of the John Deere Classic: -15: Nathan Green (Australia) 67 63 68 -14: Tim Clark 68 65 66 -13: Jonathan Byrd 67 68 65 -12: Brian Gay 72 63 66, Kenny Perry 65 68 68 -11: Billy Mayfair 69 66 67, Neal Lancaster 64 68 70, Carl Pettersson 67 64 71 -10: Jeff Gove 69 68 66, Troy Matteson 69 67 67, Kevin Sutherland 66 67 70, Jason Dufner 65 66 72 -9: Mark Brooks 70 68 66, Michael Sim (Australia) 69 67 68, Paul Stankowski 65 70 69, J.P. Hayes 70 65 69, Bob May 66 67 71 -8: Lucas Glover 71 69 65, Stephen Leaney (Australia) 69 69 67, Cameron Beckman 67 70 68, Briny Baird 67 70 68, Jeff Overton 70 66 69 also: -6: Steve Allan (Australia) 71 66 70 -5: Gavin Coles (Australia) 72 68 68 -4: Paul Gow (Australia) 69 68 72 -2: Bronson Lacassie (Australia) 71 66 74 -1: Phil Tataurangi (New Zealand) 68 71 73 +2: Grant Waite (New Zealand) 71 69 75