(Reuters) – American Russell Henley carded a flawless, five-under-par 67 to grab a three-stroke lead on Saturday on the CJ Cup, the place an elite area stands between him and his first PGA Tour title in three-and-a-half years.

Henley, who sank a 22-foot putt on 10 for one among his 5 birdies of the day, informed reporters he had struggled together with his confidence lately however appeared calm and utterly in management at Shadow Creek Golf Course after pouring work into retooling his quick sport.

“I putted rather well. Left myself in some good spots to make some birdies and had some very nice par saves and scrambled effectively. Did loads of good issues,” mentioned Henley, who has had simply two bogeys by three rounds.

The 31-year-old, who completed tied at 27 in final week’s Shriners Hospitals for Youngsters Open, had three consecutive birdies on the again 9 and mentioned he hoped to maintain the momentum up within the closing spherical.

“You may go low out right here, the greens are nice and it is gettable, however you have to play effectively to do this. You have to do every part effectively,” he added. “I’ve obtained to simply preserve my head down and play a great spherical for me.”

The event, sometimes a part of the PGA Tour’s Asian swing, was moved to the Las Vegas venue as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, and includes a crowded area of high expertise warming up for the Masters subsequent month, together with world quantity three Justin Thomas (68) and the reigning PGA Championship winner Collin Morikawa (71), who have been 5 and 6 strokes again from the lead, respectively.

4-time PGA Tour winner Xander Schauffele, who led the pack headed into the weekend, slipped down the leaderboard after carding a disappointing two-over-par 74 to share second place with fellow People Talor Gooch (69), Jason Kokrak (68) and Lanto Griffin (66).

(Reporting by Amy Tennery; Enhancing by William Mallard)

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