Fowler stays three clear at Memorial, Barnes a contender

Last Updated: Jun 06, 2010, 13:05 PM IST

Dublin: Rickie Fowler ended the third round of the Memorial Tournament as he started it on Saturday, holding a three-shot lead over his nearest challenger.

After a day that included two long weather delays that stretched for six hours, Fowler finished shortly before sunset at Muirfield Village with a three-under-par 69 that put him in with a strong chance to secure his first PGA Tour title.

Fowler was at 16-under 200, with fellow Americans Ricky Barnes (62) and Tim Petrovic (68) tied for second on 13-under.

Briton Justin Rose (70) was another shot behind after finishing with two late bogeys.

"These last three days I`ve hit the ball well, kept it out of trouble and given myself some looks at birdie," the 21-year-old Fowler told reporters. "So I knew the opportunities were going to come around and the course was there to be had."

Fowler said he would not be intimidated by the game`s biggest names on Sunday, because they were not in contention.

"Those guys that are normally around, they aren`t around, but it doesn`t really change my outlook," he said. "I`m just going to stick to my game plan."

The fans who waited out the long morning weather delay to watch world number one Tiger Woods were treated to a golfing clinic, but instead it was from his playing partner Barnes, who shot 10-under to move into contention.

Barnes picked up four strokes on the front nine, and he also birdied the par-four 10th, before making eagle at the par-five 11th, where he holed out from 108 yards, a shot that revved up the gallery.

"Irons were probably the main key to my round," said Barnes, who led into the final round at last year`s U.S. Open, before finishing tied for second.

"I got away with a few bad drives but other than that hit a lot of greens and took advantage of my (opportunities)."

Woods, meanwhile, shot a three-under 69, leaving the defending champion 10 strokes from the lead and he refused requests for interviews and autographs afterwards, despite hardly playing a bad shot over the final eight holes.

The only blemish on his card was a double bogey at 10, where he blocked his drive into the back yard of a house adjacent to the fairway and he did not even bother looking for his ball.

Bureau Report