Kisner eyes maiden win, leads RSM by 3


After several close calls, Kevin Kisner appears ready to break into the winner's circle on the PGA Tour. Here's how things look heading into the final round of the RSM Classic, where Kisner holds a three-shot lead:

Leaderboard: Kevin Kisner (-16), Kevin Chappell (-13), Graeme McDowell (-12), Alex Cejka (-11), Jeff Overton (-10), Jim Herman (-10), Jason Dufner (-9)

What it means: Kisner has four runner-up finishes this year, including a second-place finish in China in his most recent start, but he distanced himself from the field Saturday with a 64. After a strong finish to the round, he now finds himself on the cusp of a breakthrough win - one that would cap a resurgent season that has already netted him a Masters berth and seen him crack the top 30 in the world rankings.

Round of the day: Kisner began the day one shot off the pace, but he quickly erased that deficit with three birdies over his first 10 holes. After a bogey on No. 14, his lone dropped shot of the day, Kisner rebounded with three straight birdies on Nos. 16-18 to close a 6-under 64 and increase his lead to three shots.

Best of the rest: After a win last week in Mexico, McDowell maintained his strong play with a third-round 65. The Ulsterman was bogey-free and carded five birdies over his first 15 holes, and would have been even better had he not suffered a one-shot penalty on the first hole when he forgot that preferred lies were no longer in effect. While he trails Kisner by three, he has a chance to go back-to-back after going more than two years in between wins before last week's breakthrough south of the border.

Biggest disappointment: Freddie Jacobson moved into contention at the halfway point, but a 1-over 71 dropped the Swede seven spots down the leaderboard. Jacobson made only one birdie Saturday against two bogeys, and at 9 under he now trails Kisner by seven shots as he looks to win for the first time since the 2011 Travelers Championship.

Main storyline heading into Sunday: The player to watch remains Kisner, who has been playing at an elite level for months but doesn't have the hardware to show for it. After playoff losses at the RBC Heritage, Players Championship and The Greenbrier Classic, the South Carolina native appears poised to remove the monkey from his back with a victory at Sea Island, where he has lived for the last several weeks as his nearby home has been renovated.

Shot of the day: After two straight birdies, Kisner found the green in regulation on No. 18 but ended up 30 feet short of the hole. The subsequent birdie putt never left the hole, and it gave Kisner some extra momentum - not to mention a three-shot lead heading into the final round.