Parker McLachlin fired a 6-under 66 yesterday.
McLachlin stretches his lead to 6
He's on the verge of his first PGA win and his 54-hole score is a course record
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Honolulu's Parker McLachlin is only 18 holes away from where he wants to be -- a winner on the PGA Tour.
Continuing his dominating performance, the Punahou School alumnus shot a sizzling 66 yesterday to take a six-shot lead into today's final round of the Legends Reno-Tahoe Open played on the Montreux Golf and Country Club course in Reno, Nev.
McLachlin will be in the final pairing for the first time in his PGA career. He leads Brian Davis by six shots and John Rollins by 10, making it unlikely anyone will come from way back in the pack to catch this threesome.
It is the second time McLachlin has held a lead this year. During the final round of the AT&T Classic, McLachlin built a three-shot advantage, only to see it slip away down the stretch. He also had a seven-shot lead in the final round of a Nationwide Tour event that he eventually lost. Can he learn from those experiences?
"I learned a ton from that day," McLachlin said. "I think I'm a different player now than I was then, just with the control of my game. That one, I looked past the finish line too early and this I'm looking forward to the first shot on the first hole. That's as far as I am going to go."
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RENO, Nev. » Parker McLachlin made a 9-foot eagle putt as part of a 6-under 66 yesterday to set a course record for 54 holes and take a six-stroke lead into the final round of the Legends Reno-Tahoe Open.
McLachlin, a second-year player on the PGA Tour who opened with a 68 and tied the course record Friday with a 62, added five birdies, an eagle and a bogey for a record three-round total of 20-under 196 at the 7,472-yard Montreux Golf & Country Club.
"It's something to be proud of, but it's not a 54-hole tournament. That's not what I'm here for," said McLachlin, who has won on the Hooters Tour, Tight Lies Tour, Gateway Tour and Spanos Tour, but not the PGA Tour.
Brian Davis, who eagled the 616-yard ninth when he drove the ball 342 yards then hit his second shot 266 yards to within 6 feet of the pin, carded a 68 on his 34th birthday to move into second place at 14-under 202.
John Rollins made a 6-foot eagle putt on the par-5 fourth en route to a 70 that put him in third place at 10-under 206 -- 10 strokes off the lead. Andrew Buckle (68) and John Merrick (73) were another stroke back at 207.
Davis, who has won twice on the European Tour, said even the closest challengers face an uphill battle.
"It's weird because most weeks on tour there's probably 20 guys or 10 guys who can win on the last day," Davis said. "But obviously if Parker is 20 under, John Rollins has to shoot 10-under if Parker is even par. So it does put a stretch on everyone, including me.
"But Parker's never won before so you never know, he might shoot a couple over. And around this golf course anything can happen. You can hit good shots and get a bad bounce and be really in trouble."
Last year on the Nationwide Tour, McLachlin led the National Mining Association Pete Dye Classic by seven strokes entering the final round, but shot a 77 on Sunday to finish tied for fourth.
"It was my first time having a lead and I didn't really approach it the right way and learned a lot from it," McLachlin said.
"That one, I looked past the finish line too early and this one I'm looking forward to the first shot on the first hole tomorrow, and that's as far as I'm going to go."
Ranked 98th on the tour money list this year with $740,940, McLachlin tied the course record Friday with birdies on seven of the last 10 holes for a 10-under 62.
Yesterday, he eagled the par-4 fifth after his 344-yard drive rolled onto the green. He had a chance to eagle the previous hole -- a 518-yard par 5 -- when he hit his second shot 200 yards to within 6 feet of the pin, but rolled his putt a foot past the hole and had to settle for birdie.
McLachlin, who has five top-25 finishes this year including a tie for fifth at the AT&T Classic, also made a 28-foot birdie putt on the par-5 ninth.
He made a 13-foot birdie putt on the 18th to break the three-round course record of 197 that Will MacKenzie and Bob Estes set in 2006.