Gore Enjoying Two Shot Lead


84 Lumber ClassicFARMINGTON, Pa. -- Jason Gore is enjoying more than just the lead.
Gore birdied every par-5 Saturday on the way to a 5-under 67 and two- shot lead heading into the final round at the 84 Lumber Classic. He is through 54 holes at 12-under-par 204, but red numbers weren't the only highlight of his day.
Since earning a 'Battlefield Promotion' from the Nationwide Tour last month, the burly Gore has enjoyed the type of gallery support previously reserved for players like John Daly.
The sentiment has carried over from the fan-favorite status he gained playing in the final group at this year's U.S. Open, and Gore's reaction to it has remained the same.
'It's special,' Gore modestly admitted, answering a question he has been asked at just about every tournament since he and Retief Goosen both collapsed on Sunday at Pinehurst. 'It's been pretty cool.'
Gore ended with six birdies and an eagle in his third round to make up for a trio of bogeys. After beginning the round in a tie for seventh place at 7 under, he opened with an eagle to move further into red numbers.
He just missed chipping-in for eagle at the fifth, which is the first of the Mystic Rock Course's four par-fives. The last of the 31-year-old's par-5 birdies came with a short putt at 16 to reach 12 under.
Gore also proved he has finishing skills when, after hitting into a fairway bunker at 18, he calmly finished with a par to take the clubhouse lead.
'[I] just have to go out and keep doing one thing at a time,' said Gore, who shot a 59 during one of his three wins on the Nationwide Tour this year. 'You can only control what you are doing.'
Craig Barlow was also at 12 under when Gore reached the clubhouse, but he and playing partner Chris Smith had trouble at the par-5 16th. Both ended with double bogey there, and Barlow finished his round in a tie for second place after shooting a 70.
'I wouldn't play it any differently if I had to do it again,' said Barlow, who drove it straight at 16 before his second shot landed in a deep greenside bunker along with Smith's. 'I'm sure we looked like fools down there, but if I had to do it all over again, I would have aimed at the same target.'
Joining Barlow at 10-under-par 206 were Tag Ridings (67), Carlos Franco (68), Rod Pampling (69) and Carl Pettersson (70).
Chris DiMarco (67), the 2000 champion, leads a group of three players who share seventh place at minus-9. Justin Leonard (70) and Cameron Beckman (73) are also there, and a total of 14 players are within five strokes of Gore.
'If it stays right now, I'm only three back,' DiMarco said after finishing his round. 'This course is fitting to my eye. I get a lot of good vibes on the tee balls, and when I get the ball in play, I can play out here.'
Overnight leader Stuart Appleby struggled to a 75 and fell into a tie for 10th place with five players at 8 under, among them is Smith.
Defending champion Vijay Singh is nine strokes off the lead after a third-round 73. He is tied for 36th place at minus-3 .
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