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Kuchar moves into Houston Open lead

  • The Sports Network
  • Published Friday, April 4, 2014, at 7:27 p.m.
  • Updated Saturday, April 5, 2014, at 4:25 p.m.

Humble, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Matt Kuchar carded a 4-under 68 on Saturday to claim a 4-stroke lead entering the final round of the Houston Open.

Kuchar, who is seeking his seventh career win on the PGA Tour, finished three rounds on the Tournament Course at Golf Club of Houston at 15-under-par 201.

"It's a nice position to have played well last week, to have been in the last group with a chance to win and again to come back this week, completely different course and have another shot to win," said Kuchar, who carded a 75 during the final round of last week's Valero Texas Open to fall into a share of fourth place.

Second-round leader Sergio Garcia tripped to a 1-over 73 to fall into a tie with Cameron Tringale (69) for second place at 11-under 205.

Matt Jones (71) is alone in fourth at 9-under, while Rickie Fowler (68) and Ben Curtis (71) are tied for fifth at minus-8.

Tringale, Jones and Curtis will all need to win this tournament in order to qualify for the Masters next week.

Garcia entered the third round with a 1-stroke lead, but quickly gave that advantage away with a bogey at the first as he failed to get up and down from a greenside bunker.

Kuchar took advantage with a 7-foot birdie putt at the first to jump into the lead at 12-under.

Garcia bounced back with a birdie at the third to move back to the top of the leaderboard, but Kuchar answered with back-to-back birdies at the fourth and fifth to claim a 2-stroke lead.

After Kuchar 2-putted for bogey at the ninth to fall to 13-under and drop his lead to just one, Garcia tripped to consecutive bogeys at the 10th and 11th to drop to minus-10.

Kuchar and Garcia both birdied the 12th to remain three shots apart before Kuchar continued to roll in birdies at the 13th and 14th to claim a 5-stroke lead at 16-under

Tringale, meanwhile, countered a bogey at the first with birdies at the second, fourth, fifth and eighth to race into a share of second place at 11- under. He traded a bogey at the 10th with a birdie at the 11th to stay there.

Tringale moved into sole possession of second place with a 12-foot birdie putt at the 14th, but later fell back into a tie with Garcia with a bogey at the 17th.

He parred the 18th to end there as Garcia parred his final six holes to also finish at 11-under.

Kuchar followed three straight pars from the 15th with a 3-putt bogey at the last to take a 4-stroke lead into the final round.

"It's a bummer to three-putt the last one," Kuchar said. "My speed got a little off there ... but all-in-all I putted well. I'm not at all disappointed with the way I putted or the way I played."

NOTES: Kuchar's last victory came at the 2013 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship ... Garcia won the European Tour's Commercial Bank Qatar Masters in January ... Tringale is seeking his first career PGA Tour victory ... Sean O'Hair withdrew during the third round with a stomach virus.

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