Tim Clark heated up at just the right time Saturday, and the South African broke a logjam at the Stanford St. Jude Championship to grab the lead to himself.
On a day that started with six players tied for the lead and 52 within six strokes of the top, Clark finished a bogey-free 6-under 64 with three birdies and an eagle on his final five holes. Then he watched as his 5-under 205 total held up for a two-stroke lead as he looks for his first U.S. tour victory.
Gusting winds that had made par a valuable score through the first two rounds eased enough to make club selection a bit easier, but the wind often came up or changed directions at the wrong time. With the greens remaining firm, scoring consistently remained a problem with 15 players under par through 54 holes.
Clark will play in the final round Sunday with countryman Trevor Immelman, the U.S. Masters champ. Immelman had his own opportunity to grab a share of the lead but bogeyed No. 18 to finish with a 67. He was tied at 207 with Bill Haas (67), Alex Cejka (69) and two of the second-round leaders in tour rookie Marc Turnesa (70) and Gavin Coles (70).
Vijay Singh (70), 2005 winner Justin Leonard (67), Stephen Ames (68) and Dean Wilson (71) were three strokes back at 208.
Clark started the day at 1 over and got to even with a birdie on the par-4 second. He strung together 11 straight pars before he finally got to scoring.
Hoping for par on the par-3 14th with water guarding the front of the green, Clark rolled in a 28-footer from the left fringe for birdie. He followed with a 12-footer on No. 15 that dropped him to 2 under.
The big swing came on the 530-yard par-5 16th.
Clark had 248 yards to the hole for his second shot, pulled a 5-wood and hit it within 5 feet pin-high. His eagle putt dropped him to 4 under and into a four-way tie for the lead with Haas, Coles and Wilson. Clark took the lead to himself when he stuck a 9-iron from 147 yards to 4 feet, which he sunk for birdie and to finish off a 64 that matched the lowest score shot here this week.
The six-way tie had been the most at any round on the PGA Tour since six were tied through 36 holes at the 2007 Shell Houston Open.