American veteran Stewart Cink has maintained his five-stroke lead and set another scoring mark at the US PGA Tour 's RBC Heritage as he moves closer to a third victory at Harbour Town Golf Links.
Cink, 47, shot a two-under 69 on Saturday, cooling off from his pace in the first two rounds, when he shot a pair of 63s to shatter the event's halfway scoring mark shared by Jack Nicklaus and Phil Mickelson.
This time, 2009 British Open champion Cink scrambled his way to 18-under 195, also a tournament mark for lowest 54-hole score. The record had been held by Justin Leonard at 16-under 197 in 2002.
PGA Championship winner Collin Morikawa is second at 13 under after a 67 with Emiliano Grillo of Argentina (69) another shot behind in third.
Australia's first-round leader Cameron Smith continued to go in the wrong direction since his tour career-best opening 62.
He shot a three-over 74 third round to drop to tied 27th at six under, one shot ahead of countryman Cameron Davis (70).
While Cink slowed down, no one else could dent his large lead amid Harbour Town's narrow fairways and smallish greens. That left Cink in prime position for a third plaid winner's jacket for his collection after finishing first in 2000 and 2004.
Cink rallied from behind in both of his previous wins here. His challenge 17 years later will be maintaining his poise on a course where front-runners are often upended.
Only once in the past eight tournaments here has the third-round leader come out on top - and that was Webb Simpson last year.
Australian Associated Press