Stenson surges into contention as Herman, Lovemark lead


The unheralded duo of Jim Herman and Jamie Lovemark hit the front at the Houston Open on Saturday, as Henrik Stenson charged into contention courtesy of a superb 66.

Herman carded a faultless third-round 67 and was duly joined in the clubhouse at 11 under by Lovemark, who mixed four birdies with two bogeys in his 70.

However, the round of the day belonged to world number seven Stenson, who rolled in a 41-foot putt from off the front of the green to save par at the 18th and complete a 66 - putting him one shot back in a share of third.

Stenson, who offset a solitary dropped shot at the fifth with seven birdies, expressed satisfaction at the finish to his round.

"That really keeps us in contention, I guess," the Swede told PGA Tour Radio.

"It's tough coming in, it's gusty conditions, it's a golf course which is really a mix of some great chances and some tricky holes, especially the way it played today. I was lucky to get away with a par [at 18] and that certainly wrapped up a good day."

Russell Henley and Dustin Johnson ended the day alongside Stenson at 10 under, following respective scores of 68 and 70.

Henley enjoyed a superb start, holing out from 121 yards at the first for an eagle before birdieing the third and fourth, and the highlight of Johnson's round was a three at the par-five eighth that followed back-to-back bogeys.

Roberto Castro (70) was two off the pace after bogeys at the 16th and 18th, while overnight leader Charley Hoffman dropped back to eight under courtesy of a 74.

Despite pitching in for birdie from a greenside bunker at the seventh, Jordan Spieth could only manage a 70 to sit five adrift off the lead in the week before his Masters defence.