Gore Grabs Top Spot

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BOISE, ID -- Jason Gore fired a 5-under 66 Saturday to grab a three-stroke lead at the Buy.Com Boise Open. Gore, who is looking to win for the second straight week, now stands at 13-under 200 through three rounds at the Hillcrest Country Club.
 
Greg Gregory and Patrick Moore are tied for second after each posted 2-under 69s. Overnight leader Mark Hensby carded a 1-over 72 and is in fourth place at 8-under.
 
Gore started quickly with birdies at the first and third. On one, he knocked a 9-iron within four feet. Gore then two-putted the par-5 third after knocking his second shot on with a 2-iron. After putting a 5-iron to within two feet on the par-3 eighth, Gore made the turn at 3-under.
 
'I tried to keep making solid shots,' said Gore. 'I was trying to not watch the leaderboard. If I play my game, I should be alright.'
 
After making the turn, Gore carded his next birdie at the par-3 13th. His final birdie came on the par-5 16th, when he chipped within two feet.
 
'There's really no explanation what is going on right now,' Gore said. 'I was trying to focus on what I was doing and not think about how hard the holes are. I am feeling a little more confident than I was last week.'
 
Gore is looking to become the first back-to-back winner on the Buy.Com Tour since Pat Bates accomplished the feat in 2001. Bates won the final two events of the 2001 season - the Shreveport Open and the Buy.Com Tour Championship.
 
Gregory took lead at one point during his round as he opened with an eagle at the first and birdies on 2 and 3. He holed a 9-iron from 143 yards out on the first. He then two-putted the par-5 second and placed his third shot to 15-feet on the third, also a par-5.
 
'I got lucky on the first hole,' said Gregory. 'After making birdie on the next two holes, I knew it would be a good day.'
 
Gregory, however, struggled mightily on the back nine. He bogeyed the 11th, 13th, 14th and 18th. He did get two of those shots back with an eagle at the par-5 16th.
 
'I didn't make it easy on myself at all. Those are brutal holes (referring to 11, 13, and 14),' Gregory said.
 
Moore's round was more tame as he posted two birdies and one bogey on both the front and back nines. Three of his four birdies came on Hillcrest's three par-5s.
 
Eric Meeks, Emlyn Aubrey, Barry Cheesman and Gavin Coles are minus-7 and in a four-way tie for fifth place. Bud Still is alone in ninth at 6-under 207.
 
Moore, Arron Oberholser and Cliff Kresge have each won twice on the Buy.Com Tour this season. Oberholser, who is minus-4, and Kresge, who is 1-under, have their work cut out. If one of them wins this tournament to become a three-time winner this season, that person would get the automatic Battlefield Promotion to the PGA Tour. Four players have previously gained this promotion -- Chris Smith in 1997 and Heath Slocum, Chad Campbell and Pat Bates in 2001.
 
Full-field scores from the Boise Open