RENO: Andrew Putnam stayed aggressive for a second straight day to surge to the top of the leaderboard at the Barracuda Championship in Reno on Saturday.
Putnam finished with back-to-back birdies to seize control with a total of 38 points in the modified Stableford event.
The format awards eight points for an albatross, five for eagle, two for birdie, none for par, and subtracts a point for bogey and three for double-bogeys or worse.
Putnam, three points clear of fellow American Sam Saunders who made a pair of eagles on his back nine, will be looking for his first ever PGA Tour victory.
He held a share of the 54-hole lead with world number one Dustin Johnson at the FedEx St. Jude Classic in June. Putnam stumbled to a final-round 72 while Johnson won with a 66.
“That will be important, having that experience,” Putnam told reporters. “Obviously this is a little different format, so the strategy has to stay aggressive and make as many points as possible.”
Chad Campbell set the Montreux Golf and Country Club ablaze with nine birdies and one eagle for a tournament-best 22 points that catapulted him into third place with 32 points.
“I came out yesterday afternoon and kind of felt like I found a little something to go with, so it worked today,” Campbell said. “But who knows, golf is crazy, so it might not work tomorrow. You never know. Hopefully, it will.”
Ireland’s Shane Lowry was two points further back on 30.
Second round leader Aaron Baddeley suffered an early double bogey on the par four fifth hole and finished the day on even par, remaining on 26 points and tied for seventh.