Sung Kang leads Rickie Fowler by 3 at Houston Open

Sung Kang will take a three-shot advantage in to the final round of the Houston Open, as Rickie Fowler stuttered along the closing stretch for the second day running.

What it means: With a five-birdie front-nine 31, Fowler picked up five shots on Kang over the first nine holes.

Kang matched Fowler with eight birdies and was poised to share the first-round lead until a three-putt from 42 feet on the 18th hole and settled for a 65.

His six-stroke advantage heading into the weekend is the largest 36-hole lead on PGA TOUR this season, and the largest ever at the Houston Open.

Kang changed his putter before the Shell at the request of his friend who works for TaylorMade.

"You can't really dwell on the last two holes", Fowler said after his 5-under 67 on Saturday. He tripped up coming home, however, by bogeying the par-4 17th hole, then double-bogeyed the 18th after struggling on the green.

Heavy winds approaching 25-30 miles per hour at times and cloudy skies resulted in much higher scores on Saturday than were seen on Friday, with the average score around 1 over par.

"It s not in my head", Kang said of that tantalizing possibility.

Kang has never led or shared the lead going into a final round on the PGA Tour.

Kang knew that something was up in the group ahead of his. "It was a great day of golf, and I put myself in a position to win a golf tournament tomorrow".

Kang said he'll be playing conservatively and defensively, especially with the strong possibility of inclement weather on the way.

Mickelson is one of the players that loves to tee it up in Houston the week before the Masters because the course here mimics Augusta National - big-shouldered holes bordered by relatively light rough and tight lies around the sloping, super-quick, putting surfaces.

"I'll play my game. I'm enjoying myself right now". "I have no power to think about anything". A victory would obviously be his first on the PGA Tour, and it would also earn him a spot in next week's Masters.

Heading into the weekend with a six-shot cushion, Kang nearly holed out from the first fairway to leave a tap-in birdie and rolled in an eight-foot gain at the fourth. He's at 12 under for the tournament.

Other notable scores sees Adam Scott on four under, Jimmy Walker and Jordan Spieth on three under while Phil Mickelson is even par after his first round.

John Daly shot a 69 to get into contention at Fallen Oak. Just playing and going through the process of getting ready makes things a lot easier when you go tee it up on Thursday next week.

Tanguay finished third at 6-under 210 and Kyung Kim finished fourth at 5-under 211.

  • Julie Sanders