Taylor on Way to Reno Repeat


PGA Tour (75x100)RENO, Nev. -- Defending champion Vaughn Taylor fired an 8-under 64 on Saturday and opened a commanding lead after three rounds of the Reno-Tahoe Open. He is six ahead at 21-under-par 195 as he set a new record at Montreux Golf and Country Club.
Taylor obliterated the old 54-hole record of Jerry Kelly from 2001. That year Kelly posted a three-round total of 201, but ultimately lost to John Cook.
Vaughan Taylor
Vaughan Taylor has his sights set on a repeat victory.
Taylor trailed Roland Thatcher by a stroke last year, then defeated Hunter Mahan, Steve Allan and Scott McCarron in a playoff for his first win on tour. This will mark the first time Taylor will take the lead into the final round and with a six-stroke cushion, he looks good to become the first player to successfully defend his title at this tournament.
'A six-shot lead is definitely a lot,' admitted Taylor. 'I'm going to go out there and keep my game plan and play golf. You get more comfortable each time. I'm going to have my routine, get away from golf a little bit and relax. Get my mind set and ready to go.'
Todd Fischer birdied his final five holes en route to a 3-under 69 on Saturday. He is alone in second place at minus-15, one shot better than Jesper Parnevik, who posted a 5-under 67 in round three.
Taylor flew out of the gate on Saturday with four birdies in his first five holes, including three in a row from the third. He birdied the par-5 ninth to make the turn in 31.
He wasted little time in continuing his strong play on the back nine. Taylor birdied 10, then knocked his third inside a foot at the par-5 11th to set up a tap-in birdie.
Taylor parred five in a row after the birdie at 11, but got it to 21 under par with a birdie at the par-5 17th. He parred No. 18 and now has a good shot at PGA Tour win No. 2.
Taylor was knocking down pins all round long with very few putts coming from anything longer than 10 feet. With scoring conditions like this, he knows that he will have to stay sharp if he's to visit the winner's circle on Sunday afternoon.
'I can't remember a tournament, tapping in and knocking in so many 3-footers for birdie. Those are nice,' said Taylor, who is tied for the tournament lead in greens in regulation and is second in putting. 'I'll be fine tomorrow. Each time you're in this situation you get better.'
Fischer made the turn at 2 over thanks to three bogeys and one birdie over the opening nine. He rebounded in a big way with five birdies in a row and when his 8-footer for birdie at the last fell into the cup, he was closest to Taylor.
Fischer will have to overcome six shots and knows what it will take to do it.
'If the conditions stay the way they are, 64-63-62,' said Fischer, who has posted one top-10 in 24 events this season on the PGA Tour. 'He played good, but not all that good on the back.'
Aaron Baddeley (66), Fredrik Jacobson (68) and Jonathan Kaye (68) share fourth at 13-under-par 203. J.P. Hayes shot a 5-under 67 and is alone in seventh place at minus-12, which is two better than Dean Wilson, who carded a 6-under 66 on Saturday.
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