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Kirk enjoys Viking Classic lead

Updated: Sunday, 17 Jul 2011 20:32

Chris Kirk - The Knoxville native leads by a shot going into the final round
Chris Kirk - The Knoxville native leads by a shot going into the final round

American Chris Kirk will head into the final round of the US PGA Tour Viking Classic with a one-shot lead after carding a sparkling 64 on Saturday at Annandale Golf Club in Madison.

The 26-year-old from Knoxville, Tennessee, picked up three birdies on the outward nine and a further five on the back nine to surge up the leaderboard after two solid opening rounds of 67.

His 18-under-par 54-hole total was one better than a quartet including South Korea's Sunghoon Kang, who also signed for a 64. Kang's round would have been even better had he not blotted his copybook by bogeying the par-four 17th.

Kirk's fellow Americans DJ Trahan (66) and George McNeill (67), and Australia's Peter Lonard (69) were also a shot back in a tie for second.

American Jim Renner was two shots off the lead after firing a brilliant 62. He was joined on 16 under by compatriots Tom Pernice Jr (67) and Hunter Haas (70).

The field was shorn of the vast majority of the world's best players, of course, due to their participation in the Open Championship, but with a first prize of $405,000 on offer there will be plenty to play for on Sunday.

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