SAN ANTONIO — Billy Horschel was confident about his chances of staying on top at the Texas Open after taking the second-round lead.
The relatively unknown up-and-comer lived up to his words on Saturday, holding off an experienced leaderboard to shoot a 2-under 70 and take a two-shot lead entering the final round.
Horschel finished second at last week’s Houston Open, and he extended his PGA Tour-best streak of consecutive cuts made to 21 this week.
Still, the Florida native faces the daunting task of fending off a trailing pack that includes former major winners Jim Furyk, Rory McIlroy and Padraig Harrington if he’s to earn his first PGA Tour win on Sunday.
Just don’t try and tell him that.
“I’ve never been star struck out here,” Horschel said. “I respect all the veterans out here. I respect everyone that’s put their time (in) out here.
“But at the same time, I’m as confident as I’ve ever been, and I feel just as good as anyone else in the world right now.”
Horschel enters the final day with a two-shot lead over Furyk and Charley Hoffman. He’s four shots ahead of a trio that includes McIlroy, a former world No. 1 who would like nothing better than to close out with a win today on his way to next week’s Masters.
McIlroy shot a 1-under 71 to reach 6 under overall. He tied for the low round on Friday with a 67, but he was inconsistent off the tee on Saturday and had four birdies and three bogeys.
Inbee Park takes 3-shot
lead in Kraft Nabisco
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — Inbee Park’s 7-iron tee shot Saturday on the 168-yard 17th hole turned to left on a perfect line at the back-left pin, landed softly and rolled to 2 1/2 feet for yet another birdie in the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
The 24-year-old South Korean player, three strokes ahead with a round left in the first major championship of the year, admitted it wasn’t quite the way she planned it after watching playing partner Lizette Salas’ ball sail too far left and into a bunker.
“It was actually a little bit of a mis-shot,” Park said. “I aimed a little more right, but I slightly pulled it and it ended up perfect.”
Bogey-free in her last 22 holes at Mission Hills, Park shot her second straight 5-under 67 in tricky wind conditions to reach 12 under.
“I feel really good about my swing and the stroke at the moment,” Park said. “I feel really comfortable around this golf course, too. That helps. Three good rounds, and I just need another one tomorrow. ... I was really used to the wind after yesterday, because we had a really similar wind. It was a lot easier to judge today.”