Gow Lile Share Top Spot in Athens

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Nationwide TourATHENS, Ga. -- Australian Paul Gow fired a 5-under 67 on Saturday to tie Craig Lile for the lead heading into the final round of the Athens Regional Foundation Classic.
 
Gow and Lile completed three rounds at 18-under-par 198 for a commanding five-shot advantage over four players tied for third place.
 
Lile, who held the overnight lead, shot a 3-under 69 on Saturday at Jennings Mill Country Club. He was lucky to finish the day tied for first after a tough stretch that saw him play the first 10 holes at 2 over.
 
The South African started out OK with six straight pars -- although he needed to recover after a bad drive at No. 1 -- but then dropped shots at the seventh and 10th.
 
'The front nine -- we never really got it going today,' said Lile, whose lead was one shot overnight. 'I hit a really bad opening tee shot and couldn't get it going after that.'
 
Lile recovered a shot at the par-4 11th, where he was able to land a 7 iron within 4 feet to set up his first birdie of the day. Four more birdies would follow.
 
'That set the tone for the rest of the round,' Lile said of his approach at 11. 'I finally felt like I was going forward instead of backward.'
 
Gow needed birdies on his final two holes to join Lile -- his playing partner -- in the lead. The birdies were his fifth and sixth of the round.
 
'Craig and I found our game on the back nine,' said Gow, whose only bogey came at the par-5 seventh. 'We finally got something going. I'm really happy with my finish (four-under on the back nine).'
 
On Sunday, Lile will be looking for his first Nationwide Tour win. Gow has been to the winner's circle before: He has two Nationwide Tour victories, but none since 2000.
 
'You can't play with Paul and not have fun,' Lile said. 'Wine or lose, it will be fun either way.'
 
Sharing third place at 13-under-par 203 are Tom Gillis (68), Justin Bolli (68), Kevin Johnson (68) and Zoran Zorkic (73). There are five players knotted in seventh place, one stroke further back.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - The Athens Regional Foundation Classic
  • Full Coverage - The Athens Regional Foundation Classic