Poston takes a 3-stroke lead heading into the final round of the John Deere Classic


JT Poston caught two back-nine bogeys with an eagle on the par-5 17th, shooting a 4-under 67 on Saturday to take a three-shot lead in the final round of the John Deere Classic.

Trying to earn a wire-to-wire win after finishing tied for second last week at the Travelers Championship in Connecticut, Poston hit a 13-1/2-foot-17 eagle putt.

« It was huge for tomorrow, » Poston said of the eagle. « I wasn’t as sharp today off the tee and had to play a bit defensively on some greens. It’s good to put two good swings there and make that putt to capitalize and recover some ground which I had lost. »

He had a total of 19 under 194 at the TPC Deere Run.

Playing partner Denny McCarthy birdied the final two holes for a 66 to join Scott Stallings (64) and Emiliano Grillo (65) at 16 under.

« It was nice to end like this, » McCarthy said. « It’s good to putt on the 18. It’s good to see something happen tomorrow. It’s a good feeling to feel that I had something wrong, by birdie the last two. »

Michael Gligic (68) of Burlington, Ont., is tied for 10th at 12 under, while Adam Svensson (68) of Surrey, BC, is one shot behind.

Adam Hadwin and Nick Taylor, both of Abbotsford, BC, David Hearn of Brantford, Ont., and Roger Sloan of Merritt, BC, all missed Friday’s cut.

Poston opened with rounds 62 and 65 to take a four-stroke lead, then played the front nine in 3-under Saturday with birdies on numbers 2, 5 and 8. He dropped a shot on the par- 3 12th, birdied the par-4 14th and bogeyed the par-4 15th before making the big putt on 17.

From Hickory, North Carolina, Poston, 29, won the 2019 Wyndham Championship for his only PGA Tour title.

« I just try to stay patient and calm, » Poston said. « I don’t try to get too far ahead of myself. I just try to take one hole at a time. Being in this position I try to focus mostly on the shot in front of me and make some best I can and go from there. »

Birdie stall Nos. 15-17.

« Rejoice at the opportunity. » said Stallings. « Today was a big step in the right direction for tomorrow. »

Grillo has birdied four of the last five.

« Everyone is in the same situation, » Grillo said. « Everyone wants to win. Everyone wants to make the most of it. It will definitely be a tough battle tomorrow. »

Iowa native Zach Johnson, the 2012 winner, had 8 under after a 67 in his 20th straight start in the event. He also won 17.

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