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Brendon Todd leads by one after three rounds of WGC event in Memphis

Brendon Todd watches a tee shot during the third round of the FedEx St. Jude Invitational on Aug. 1, 2020.
Brendon Todd, who started the third round with a two-stroke lead, had five birdies and four bogeys Saturday to put him at 13-under 198 for the tournament.
(Mark Humphrey / Associated Press)

Brendon Todd shot a one-under-par 69 on Saturday at the FedEx St. Jude Invitational to take a one-stroke lead into the final round of the World Golf Championship event.

Todd started the third round with a two-stroke lead. He had five birdies and four bogeys to put him at 13-under 198 on a nearly perfect day at TPC Southwind with the temperature in the 70s.

The 35-year-old Georgian is looking for his fourth career victory and third since last fall. This is Todd’s second 54-hole lead since the PGA Tour’s return to play. He shot a 75 in the final round of the Travelers Championship and tied for 11th.

“What I learned at the Travelers is just you cannot control the result, you can’t control the way you’re going to feel, where the ball’s going to land, if putts are going to go in,” Todd said. “The best players in the world treat each final round like it’s just another day, and they just go out there and try to execute and stick to their game and let the results fall as they do.”

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Byeong Hun An of South Korea, who had four consecutive birdies on the back nine, finished with a 66. Rickie Fowler was two strokes back after a 69.

Defending champ Brooks Koepka struggled early before he reeled off six birdies in eight holes for a 68. He was fourth at nine under.

Justin Thomas, who can become No. 1 in the world with a victory here, was fifth at eight under after a 66. He won on this course in 2018 before the event became a World Golf Championship in 2019. Phil Mickelson (66) and Louis Ooosthuizen (68) were in a group five strokes back.

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“I kind of found something those last 12 holes where I really started hitting some good putts and making them with good speed,” Thomas said. “Yeah, it was nice to shoot four under on that back nine to give myself somewhat of a chance.”

Todd started where he left off Friday, rolling in a 14-footer for birdie on No. 1 to reach 12 under. Todd couldn’t get out of the rough on the par-four No. 5 on the way to only his second bogey of the tournament.

Fowler holed out from the green-side rough on the par-five third to pull within two. He then joined Todd atop the leaderboard on No. 7. He hit his second shot from 190 yards to nine feet and made the putt for birdie.

Todd took the lead back to himself on the next hole with a 22-foot birdie putt on the par-three eighth. Fowler answered with a 17-foot birdie putt on No. 9, making the turn with his third birdie and a share of the lead at 12 under. Todd pushed his own birdie chance just right of the hole.

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Minnesota’s Matt Dumba became the first NHL player to kneel during the U.S. national anthem when he did so before the Oilers-Blackhawks game in Edmonton.

Fowler took the lead to himself for the first time when Todd bogeyed No. 10 to start the back nine. Todd hit into the rough off the tee and couldn’t sink a 13-footer to save par. Todd made a 15-footer for birdie on No. 12, taking back the lead when Fowler two-putted from 13 feet for bogey.

Todd hit his approach 166 yards to three feet on No. 13 for his shortest birdie putt of the day and a two-stroke lead. But Todd found the water just short of the green on the par-three 14th and threw his hat in disgust at his shot. A bogey dropped him to 12 under.

He made up for it with a 16-foot birdie putt on the par-five No. 16 for a two-stroke lead again. But he couldn’t get up and down from the rough off the fringe of the green on No. 17 for his fourth bogey.

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Tom Lewis tied the course record with a 61. He was tied for 10th at six under.


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