Sport - Golf - Patrick Rodgers
Patrick Rodgers leading after the third round Image Credit: Twitter PGA Tour

Patrick Rodgers shot a 1-under 71 on Saturday to take a one-stroke lead into the final round of the Valero Texas Open, with his first PGA TOUR title and Masters spot at stake.

Making his 235th TOUR start, the 30-year-old Rodgers had a 12-under 204 total at the Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio.

Canadian Corey Conners, the 2019 Valero Texas Open winner, was second after a 69.

Matt Kuchar was a shot back on the 18th tee, but he made a double bogey for a 69 to end up third at 9 under. Chris Kirk (69) and Sam Stevens (68) were 8 under.

Kuchar was one of three notable names to crawl up the leaderboard Saturday. Three-time major champion Padraig Harrington, at age 51, parred his first 10 holes, then shot a back-nine 32 for a 68. He was 7 under.

Former Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama was 6 under after a 68.

Rodgers led by three coming into the third round. Rodgers and Conners each birdied the drivable 331-yard 17th hole when they chipped close with their second shots.

That left Rodgers up by two, but he pushed his tee shot at 18 behind a tree and made bogey from a greenside bunker. Conners could have tied, but missed an 8-foot birdie putt.

Three second-place finishes

Rodgers has a 54-hole lead for the fourth time on the PGA TOUR. He has three second-place finishes.

Kuchar was one shot back after driving the par-4 17th green and almost holing a 37-foot eagle putt. It was a stretch of three birdies in six holes, but on the final tee, Kuchar pulled his driver into a cactus bush. He lost a stroke with an unplayable lie and finished with a double bogey on the par 5.

Along with Harrington, Byeong Hun An (68), Harry Higgs (72), Lee Hodges (69), Augusto Nunez (69) and Sam Ryder (68) were five behind Rodgers.