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Amateur shoots a 68, stays in front at Deere

SHARE Amateur shoots a 68, stays in front at Deere

SILVIS, Ill. — David Gossett, the 1999 U.S. Amateur champion trying to secure a spot on the PGA Tour, shot a 3-under 68 on Saturday to maintain the lead in the John Deere Classic.

Gossett, playing on a sponsor exemption, had a 14-under 199 total on the TPC at Deere Run. He's making his fifth PGA Tour start of the year and has played 12 events on the Buy.com Tour.

The former University of Texas star failed to qualify for the PGA Tour last winter despite shooting a 59 in the qualifying tournament.

Briny Baird, Bradley Hughes and Paul Stankowski were a stroke back after 66s, and Brian Claar (66), Matt Gogel (67) and Jerry Smith (67) followed at 201.

Gossett, attempting to become the tournament's 15th first-time winner, began the day a stroke ahead of Kent Jones at 11 under.

Gossett birdied Nos. 2 and 3 to reach 13 under but slipped back with a bogey on No. 4. He birdied No. 5 and stayed at 13 under until bogeying No. 13 after driving into a divot. He added birdies on Nos. 16 and 17 and closed with a par.

At one point late in the round, Claar, Gogel, Hughes, Stankowski and Fryatt were tied for the lead at 13 under, with Baird, Smith and Gossett a stroke back.

Claar was the first to slip when he drove into the trees at No. 18, had to chip out and bogeyed the hole. Stankowski three-putted the par-3 16th, but got that stroke back with a birdie at No. 17.

Fryatt and Hughes moved ahead of the others with birdies, but Hughes dropped a stroke when he three-putted the finishing hole.

Fryatt drove into the trees at the 17th, chipped out, missed the green from 230 yards away, failed to reach the green with his first chip shot and ended up with a double bogey.