CHAMP Stephen Ames maintains hold on first at Senior PGA

Canada’s Stephen Ames shot a 4-under-par 67 on Saturday to maintain his hold on first place after three rounds of the Senior PGA Championship at Benton Harbor, Mich.

The 58-year-old recorded five birdies on the day to take a 12-under 201 into Sunday’s final round of golf Sunday. He’ll be looking to capture his third win on the Champions tour and his first ever senior major title.

“I enjoyed the way I played, the way I handled myself,” Ames said. “I hit the ball right where I was looking at it all day, which was — that helps, obviously. And again, I made some nice putts, which is obviously a key to shooting a good round on a major.

“We’ve got a lot of good players out here on the Tour now. I’m one of the older ones. … The younger guys behind us are just coming on Tour, so yeah, you expect that to be the case. Like I said, it’s my show and my show to control, and that’s what I’m going to try to do tomorrow.”

Friday’s other leader, Scott McCarron, fell off the pace with a 3-over 74 to land in a tie for 18th place at 5 under.

Meanwhile, three golfers quite literally kept pace by matching Ames’ round of 67 to stay atop the board. Fellow Canadian Mike Weir (10-under), German Bernhard Langer (10-under) and Paul Goydos (9-under) are all within three strokes of the lead.

“(Ames is) at the top of the leaderboard, all us guys chasing and he’s been playing some great golf this year,” Weir said. “He’s been playing really good, really well and he’s continued that this week. We’ve all had our hands full to try to catch him. That’s always been kept in his game, ball-striking. All aspects he does well.”

Three golfers are tied for fifth at 8-under: Germany’s Alex Cejka (68), New Zealand’s Steven Alker (69) and Brian Gay (69).

Five more golfers are right behind at 7-under. Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez shot a field-best 6-under 65 to vault into a tie for eighth with Gene Sauers (66), Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee (66), Ireland’s Padraig Harrington (68) and Shane Bertsch (67).

–Field Level Media

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