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Flesch takes four-shot lead to final round

If Steve Flesch goes on and wins the inaugural Turning Stone Resort Championship, he might point to the end of Saturday's third round at Atunyote Golf Club as the moment where it all turned in his favor.

Tied for the lead going to the 14th hole, Flesch fired off four birdies on his last five holes and, by doing so, seized a four-shot lead over Carl Pettersson and Charles Warren going into Sunday's final 18.

Flesch, with a 66, finished at 19-under-par 197, with Pettersson and Warren at 201. Only one other player, Parker McLachlin, is within six shots of Flesch, whose 19 under ties the lowest score in relation to par after 54 holes of any PGA Tour event this year.

After two days of calm conditions, the winds kicked up on Saturday, gusting up to 25 miles per hour and changing the character of Atunyote.

Some easy holes turned into brutes, while the 9th,the most difficult hole on Thursday and Friday, was dead downwind and played under par for a while in the third round. And the 18th, a 624-yard par-5, was reached in two by some players.

Early on, former British Open champion Justin Leonard and Sean O'Hair each posted rounds of 66 to finish at 205. McLachlin, with no top-10s to his credit in 2007 on the PGA Tour, fared even better with 65, the low round of the day, to move into fourth place at 203.

Both of Flesch's closest pursuers after 36 holes, Brendon de Jonge and Jeff Gove, would fall back. Going out in 39, de Jonge slipped back to nine under, while Gove shared the lead at one point, only to suffer a pair of double bogeys on the back nine to fall to eight under.

After birdies at 2 and 5 to get to 15 under, Flesch struck again at the 185-yard, par-3 6th, where his laser iron nearly went into the cup for an ace, settling six inches from the hole for a tap-in birdie.

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