LAS VEGAS (AP) — Ben Martin birdied five straight holes on the back nine Saturday and finished with a 9-under 62 that included a 47-foot birdie putt [see video below] to take a two-stroke lead in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
Winless in 55 career starts on the PGA Tour, the 27-year-old former Clemson player matched his best score on the tour — set last year in the Zurich Classic — to get to 17-under 196 at TPC Summerlin.
Martin had four birdies and bogey on the front nine, birdied No. 10 and took the lead with his birdie run on Nos. 13-17.
Scotland's Russell Knox, tied for the second-round lead with Andrew Putnam, was second after a 66.
Jimmy Walker also had a 62 to move into a tie for third with Andrew Svoboda at 13 under. Walker won three times last season and played in the Ryder Cup. Svoboda had a 67.
Defending champion Webb Simpson also had a 67 to top the group at 12 under.
Putnam shot a 73 to drop into a tie for 24th at 8 under. He had six bogeys, four in a six-hole stretch on the back nine.
Jarrod Lyle was tied for 42nd at 6 under after a 70. The Australian is making his second PGA Tour start since a recurrence of leukemia some 18 months ago.