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Holmes moves into Wells Fargo Championship lead

  • The Sports Network
  • Published Friday, May 2, 2014, at 7:07 p.m.
  • Updated Saturday, May 3, 2014, at 6:28 p.m.

Charlotte, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - J.B. Holmes carded a 6-under 66 on Saturday to claim a 1-stroke lead after three rounds of the Wells Fargo Championship.

Holmes finished 54 holes at Quail Hollow at 13-under-par 203. He is seeking his third career victory on the PGA Tour, but first since the 2008 FBR Open.

"It's been clicking this week," said Holmes. "It seems like this week I'm driving the ball great, hitting my irons great and putting the ball well, too.

Second-round co-leader Martin Flores managed a 3-under 69 during his third round to drop into second place at 12-under 204, while Phil Mickelson fired the low round of the day with a 9-under 63 to vault into third at minus-11.

Kevin Kisner (68) is alone in fourth at 10-under, a shot ahead of reigning U.S. Open champion Justin Rose (71) and Jason Bohn (67).

Angel Cabrera, who also held a share of the second-round lead, tripped to a 3- over 75 on Saturday to fall into a share of 11th place at 6-under 210.

Mickelson entered the third round seven strokes behind the overnight leaders, but used an impressive run during his outward nine to race into contention.

After parring his first two holes, Mickelson stuck his approach at the third to five feet and converted his short birdie putt.

He followed that with a 29-foot birdie putt at the fourth and stayed hot with two more gains at the fifth and sixth to reach 6-under.

He would not stop there, though, as he rolled in a 13-foot eagle putt at the seventh to move within a shot of the leaders and pulled even with a tap-in birdie at the eighth.

He later grabbed the outright lead just as Cabrera and Flores were teeing off with a 9-foot birdie at the 13th, and moved to 11-under with his final birdie of the day at the 15th. He closed with three pars to take the clubhouse lead.

"This was a really good day from start to finish. I drove the ball well, my iron play was on, short game was sharp and I made a lot of putts," Mickelson said. "I played a really good round today and it feels good because it has been a rough year for me this year."

As Flores parred his first seven holes to remain at 9-under and Cabrera bogeyed the first and third to fall out of contention, Holmes poured in short birdies at the second and fifth to meet Flores in second place.

After a par at the sixth, Holmes converted consecutive birdies at the seventh and eighth to join Mickelson at minus-11.

Holmes failed to get up and down for par from a greenside bunker at the ninth to fall a shot off the pace, but bounced right back with a 5-foot birdie at the 10th to regain a share of the lead.

Flores, meanwhile, snapped his streak of pars by sticking his second shot at the par-4 eighth to within a foot and kicking in that short birdie. He then capped a run of three straight birdies from the 10th with putts from 20 and 40 feet to vault to 13-under and claim a 2-stroke lead.

Holmes birdied the 15th to cut Flores' lead to one, and later birdied the 18th from just off the green to end at 13-under.

Flores had parred five straight from the 13th to remain at 13-under, but then found the small creek that runs along the left side of the 18th fairway off the tee and 2-putted for bogey to end at 12-under and hand Holmes a 1-stroke lead.

NOTES: Holmes has not posted a top-10 finish on the PGA Tour since the 2012 Shell Houston Open ... Holmes' 66 was his ninth straight sub-par score ... Holmes has converted two of his three career 54-hole leads into wins ... Anthony Kim in 2008 was the last 54-hole leaders of the Wells Fargo Championship to go on and win ... Flores is seeking his first career win on the PGA Tour.

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