Noh races into lead in New Orleans

 

The Sports Network

New Orleans, LA (SportsNetwork.com) - Seung-Yul Noh fired a 7-under 65 on Saturday to race into a 2-stroke lead after three rounds of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

Noh, who has not posted a single bogey during the tournament, finished 54 holes at TPC Louisiana at 18-under-par 198. He is seeking his first career victory on the PGA Tour.

"The last two days my ball-striking was really good, so I had a lot of chances for birdies and if I missed I just made the par," Noh said about playing the first three rounds without a bogey.

Keegan Bradley also shot 65 to vault into second place at 16-under, while Robert Streb (68) is alone in third at minus-15.

Second-round leader Ben Martin tripped to a 1-over 73 during his third round to fall into a tie with Jeff Overton (67) and Andrew Svoboda (70) for fourth at 14-under 202.

Noh entered the day four strokes behind Martin, but cut into that deficit with short birdies at the first and fifth before rolling in a 10-foot birdie at the eighth to reach 14-under and pull within a shot of the lead.

Martin had bounced back from a bogey at the second with a 4-foot birdie putt at the seventh to remain at 15-under.

After Martin 2-putted for bogey at the par-3 ninth to lose sole possession of first place, Noh converted a 36-foot birdie putt at the 10th to claim the outright lead.

Martin would par his final nine holes to end at minus-14.

Bradley, meanwhile, had started to make his way up the leaderboard with three birdies over his first four holes, including a 45-foot putt at the first. He traded a birdie for a bogey from the eighth to make the turn at 12-under.

Bradley stuck his approach at the 11th to two feet and kicked that in for another birdie before staying hot with birdies at the 13th and 15th to meet Noh at 15-under.

Noh quickly broke out of the tie, however, as he converted a 13-foot birdie effort at the 14th. He would pull further ahead by making it three gains in a row at the 15th and 16th to move to 18-under. He capped the run by sticking his second shot at the 16th to within a foot and tapping in for the 3-stroke lead.

Bradley closed his round with a birdie at the 18th to finish at 16-under and cut Noh's lead to just two as the South Korean parred his final two holes.

"It was a great day. I feel really in control of my golf ball, which is a good sign," said Bradley. "I haven't played much with (Noh). I know he's a very good player and has a very good golf swing. It's going to be a lot of fun playing with him."

Streb had two birdies on both of his front and back nines to claim third place.

NOTES: Noh does have a win on the European Tour, capturing the title of the 2010 Maybank Malaysian Open ... The last player to go bogey-free for 72 holes on the PGA Tour was Charles Howell III at the 2011 Greenbrier Classic, but no one has gone bogey-free and won a tournament since Lee Trevino at the 1974 New Orleans Open ... There was a second cut on Saturday that trimmed the field down from 84 to 74 players.

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