Haas, Cink share Houston Open lead
Humble, TX (Sports Network) - Bill Haas and Stewart Cink moved into a tie for the lead Saturday after three rounds of the Houston Open.
Haas carded a 5-under 67, while Cink posted a 4-under 68. They finished 54 holes at 11-under-par 205.
Haas, whose father Jay won this title in 1987, will go for his fifth PGA Tour title on Sunday. Cink will look to win for the seventh time on tour, and it would be his first title since winning the 2009 British Open.
Second-round leader Steve Wheatcroft stumbled to a bogey at the last for an even-par 72. That left him tied for third at minus-10. He stands alongside Ben Crane (67), first-round leader D.A. Points (71) and Jason Kokrak (71).
Bud Cauley and Louis Oosthuizen each fired 7-under 65s on the Tournament Course at Redstone Golf Club. Those were the low rounds of the day and left the duo tied for seventh at 9-under-par 207. They were joined there by seven others including former major champions Keegan Bradley (67) and Angel Cabrera (69).
With Cink and Haas already in the clubhouse at 11-under, Wheatcroft pushed his drive right of the fairway at the 18th. His second stopped on a downhill lie in a greenside bunker.
Wheatcroft, who got into the field via the Monday qualifier, shanked that shot behind the green. He chipped his fourth to 14 feet and converted that for bogey to finish three rounds one shot back.
"I'm a little frustrated. I didn't play very good golf today," Wheatcroft said. "I didn't hit putts the way I wanted to. I kept leaving them short, so my speed was a little off. I didn't hit the driver nearly as good as Friday. I didn't feel nervous. Things were just a little bit off."
Haas and Cink played together in the third round, and will be the final pair on Sunday. Haas dropped to minus-5 with a bogey on the third. After a pair of pars, he flew up the leaderboard with three consecutive birdies from the sixth.
Cink matched Haas' birdies at seven and eight to get to 9-under. Cink grabbed a share of the lead with a 16-foot birdie putt at the 11th.
Haas, who had birdied the 10th, also birdied No. 11 to get within one of the lead.
Cink, who has just six top-10 finishes in 81 starts since winning the British Open, made it two in a row with a 4-foot birdie putt at the 12th. That gave him the lead at minus-11.
Haas fell two back with a bogey at 13, but there was a 2-stroke swing at the 14th. Haas stuffed his tee shot inside two feet and kicked that in for birdie to move to 10-under.
Cink found a bunker off the tee and blasted to eight feet. He missed the par putt and suddenly he was part of a 5-way tie for the lead with Haas, Crane, Points and Wheatcroft.
The 39-year-old Cink bounced back with a 10-foot birdie effort on the 15th to regain the lead. He parred the final three to end there.
"I've been striking the ball well and this is a good ball-strikers course because there's almost always one side of the course that's completely not playable. And you have to eliminate that side," said Cink. "If you're in control off the tee and in control with your approaches, you're going to be able to eliminate that (side of the course) most of the way."
Haas poured in a 24-foot birdie try at 16 to join the lead at 11-under. He went par-par to finish alongside Cink.
"He played really nice and through about six holes he should have been about 4- or 5-under. I think that motivated me. I was like I better start hitting the ball pretty good to keep up with this guy," Haas said of Cink. "It helps. It helps when your whole group is playing well."
NOTES: Cink has won just two of the previous 10 times he had at least a piece of the 54-hole lead, and the last time he was in this position was at the 2008 Travelers Championship, where he won ... Haas has a piece of the 54-hole lead for the second time this year, and for the fourth time in his career. Haas won the first time he had the 54-hole lead, but lost the last two ... Wheatcroft doesn't have status on the PGA Tour and only has partial status on the Web.com Tour.
03/30 18:41:54 ET