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Lickliter seizes US Bank Championship lead

india Updated: Jul 19, 2009 11:13 IST

AFP
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Frank Lickliter fired his best round in almost three years on Saturday, carded a seven-under 63 to take the third-round lead in the four million-dollar US Bank Championship.

Lickliter took his 54-hole total to 11-under 199, grabbing the lead from Australian Greg Chalmers, who was two shots clear atop the leaderboard going into the round.

Chalmers finished the day one shot back on 200 after a 69, while Jeff Maggert and Chris Rile were two adrift on 201, Maggert notching a 66 and Riley a 68.

Lickliter, who claimed the last of his two PGA Tour victories in 2003, had a run of six birdies in seven holes from the fourth. His only misstep in that run was a bogey at the seventh.

He added two more birdies at 13 and 15, and had an eagle chance at 18 before settling for par at the last.

At the par-three fifth, his flop shot from about 16 feet rolled in for a birdie and he drained a 21-foot putt from the fringe at the sixth.

He got to 10-under with a 18-foot birdie putt at 13.

“That’s one of the best putts I’ve made,” Lickliter said. “About three different breaks in it, and I actually read it right.”

Chalmers admitted that he was a victim of nerves.

“I didn’t have a great idea of where the ball was going to go early until the mid-parts of my round,” said Chalmers, who had two birdies and three bogeys through his first 10 holes.

“I felt much better probably about 12, 13 onwards,” added Chalmers, who nabbed back-to-back birdies at 14 and 15. He also saved par at 18, despite finding the rough.

Lickliter, who broke his right arm near the elbow while visiting US troops in Iraq in 2006, said his game suffered after he tried to come back too soon.

“I didn’t get to touch a club and when I got back out, I’d only been hitting driver for two days,” Lickliter said. “I probably came back a little early.”

Now, Lickliter said, his game has come around.

“I know I’m doing a lot of good things,” Lickliter said. “I made a bunch of birdies last week and made some birdies this week. And I’m going to try to keep making birdies tomorrow.”