Sam Burns remains out in front at the Vivint Houston Open as he goes in search of his maiden victory on the PGA Tour while leading Irish contender Shane Lowry sits five strokes back. 

The 24-year old American gradually warmed to his task on Saturday after a sluggish start to his third round at Memorial Park.

The overnight leader failed to get up and down from a greenside bunker on the par-three second and then sprayed his second shot on the next hole across the green before missing a 14ft par putt for another bogey.

FULL LEADERBOARD

He birdied the fourth and eagled the eighth with a fantastic chip from off the green, then ended an entertaining front nine with another bogey after once again finding the sand from the tee.

Another errant drive on the 11th dropped him back but he collected three birdies in four holes from the 13th as he recorded a 68 which moved Burns to nine under overall and a one-shot lead over Jason Day and Carlos Ortiz.

Day would have been level-pegging with Burns heading into the last 18 holes but the Australian three-putted on the 18th in his 67 to sit in a tie for second with Mexico's Ortiz, who also carded a three-under round on Saturday.

World number one Dustin Johnson hovers menacingly on six under after a blemish-free 66.

Shane Lowry sits five strokes back from the leading pair in a tie for 8th spot. The 2019 Open Champion carded a two-under par round of 68, notching two birdies in his first three holes before adding another at the ninth. His momentum stalled on the back nine and a bogey at the 12th sent him back to four-under par for the tournament. 

Of the remaining Irish competitors, Padraig Harrington sits three shots behind Lowry on one-under par after a third round of 71. 

Graeme McDowell, meanwhile, carded a 69 to leave himself at one-over par for the competition heading into Sunday.