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Brooks Koepka moves into lead at LIV Jeddah

Brooks Koepka shot a bogey-free 64 on Saturday to take a three-stroke lead at 12-under par heading into the final round of the LIV Golf Invitational Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.

The defending champion had four birdies in a row on holes three through six, as part of his eight on the round in the $25 million regular season-ending event at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club.

“Played pretty solid,” Koepka said. “Made a couple good putts early on, which obviously helps with momentum, and drove it pretty well other than 1, my last hole. Never really felt like I had a chance to make a bogey. Pretty pleased with it today.”

Tied for second place at 9 under were Sergio Garcia of Spain, who followed Friday’s 68 with a 63, and Charles Howell III (64).

When asked about his plan for Sunday, when he could win back-to-back tiles at LIV Golf Jeddah, Koepka said he will keep a simple strategy.

“Just keep doing what I’m doing,” Koepka said. “Seems to be working since I’m at the top.”

Scott Vincent of Zimbabwe fired a 62 behind seven birdies and an eagle to move into a tie for fourth with Bryson DeChambeau (63), four strokes back of Koepka at 8 under.

“I knew Brooks and a few others were going to play well, and I needed to get it deep today,” DeChambeau said. “I did that, but I would have liked to have finished off with a birdie or two coming in, have a better chance.”

Despite saying he needs to focus on himself, DeChambeau was well aware of the challenges that were out of his own hands.

“I’m four behind, and I’ve got to catch Brooks,” DeChambeau said. “… He knows how to play this golf course really well. This wind is pretty steady and consistent. He likes this wind. It definitely becomes more of a cutter’s golf course out here when this type of wind comes into play, so he definitely has that advantage.”

First-round leader Marc Leishman of Australia, who recorded a 65 to take the lead on Friday, responded with a 5-over par 70 and fell into a tie for 21st at 3-under par.

Garcia said the weather and the course proved better on Saturday than on Friday.

“It was a really nice round, obviously,” Garcia said. “The course conditions were a little bit more favorable than yesterday. Yesterday was much windier. It was a lot trickier. A couple of tougher pins yesterday, I guess.”

Garcia said a key to the round was consecutive birdies on the final two holes, part of a strong finish.

“I finished with four birdies on my last five,” he said. “Obviously there’s moments here and there, but I also made a couple really good up-and-downs on 11 and 12 to keep my round going, and then thanks to that, I birdied 13 and 14.

“I think that I played nicely. I got a lot out of my round, and I’m very happy with that.”

In team play, Garcia’s Fireballs and Koepka’s Smash are tied for second at 19 under, three strokes behind DeChambeau’s Crushers.

–Field Level Media

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