Amid a disappointing season, Johnson Wagner has found a comfort zone not far from his college stomping grounds.
Wagner shot a 6-under 64 Saturday to take a two-stroke lead after the third round of the Greenbrier Classic.
Wagner was at 14 under on the Old White TPC course. Jimmy Walker also shot 64 and was second at 12 under.
Wagner has yet to post a top 10 finish this year. At the Greenbrier, he broke a string of seven consecutive early exits. In his two previous tournaments, he had three birdies combined. He had seven Saturday.
“I felt really comfortable all day,” Wagner said. “I hit a lot of good golf shots. I’ve got a really clear picture of what I’m trying to do on every swing.
“Sometimes when you’re playing bad, you forget who you are and you get down on yourself. The last couple of weeks, I’ve just trying to be positive and remember that I’ve won three times out here. I’m a little more comfortable with myself right now.”
Wagner played golf at Virginia Tech less than two hours from The Greenbrier resort. Several members of his wife’s family have joined them for the weekend, and hoots from Hokies fans could be heard around the golf course.
“It’s great seeing a bunch of maroon-and-orange in the crowd,” Wagner said.
He hopes they can see him wrap up his first win since the 2012 Sony Open.
The other two times Wagner held the lead going into the final round on tour, he won the 2008 Houston Open and the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in Mexico.
But no third-round leader has gone on to win the Greenbrier Classic, now in its fourth year. The tournament has been decided by playoffs the past two years, and Stuart Appleby shot 59 in the final round to win by a stroke in 2010.
PGA EUROPEAN: Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland and Richard Sterne of South Africa share a one-stroke lead after three rounds of the French Open.
McDowell shot a 1-under 70 while Sterne had a 71 on the tough Albatross course of Le Golf National, leaving both at 5-under 208.
Bernd Wiesberger of Austria (68), David Howell of England (69) and Richard Green of Australia (70) were at 209. Soren Kjeldsen of Denmark and Simon Dyson of England were at 210.
Francesco Molinari of Italy had the day’s best round, a 67 that left him four shots back. Second-round leader Fabrizio Zanotti of Paraguay fell to 214 after a 78.
Martin Kaymer of Germany, Ian Poulter of England and Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain are part of a five-way tie at 213.