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Americans hold sway in Memphis

AMERICAN Brian Gay will take a one-shot advantage into the final round of the St. Jude Classic after a posting another 4-underpar 66 on Saturday in Memphis.

Gay leads compatriot Bryce Molder, who produced a 65, with Australian Robert Allenby, who is three shots off the lead, the only non-American in the top 10 on the leaderboard.

The 37-year-old Gay, who won the Heritage Classic in April and is seeking his third career win on the PGA Tour, stumbled with a bogey at the 18th for the second straight day but was otherwise solid throughout to finish on 14-under overall.

World No. 2 Phil Mickelson is 10 shots behind, tied in 23rd, after shooting a 68 with three bogeys, including the 18th which is proving a tricky test for many at TPC Southwind. Mickelson, who has had five weeks out of action, said his putting was the main problem with his game ahead of next week's US Open.

"I wouldn't say it's a concern. It's the weakest point. I haven't putted well the first three days," he said.

"I feel like I've struck the ball well but have not been able to get it in the hole and shoot a good low number - mostly because of the putter," Mickelson said. "I'll spend some time on that in the next few days and should be able to get it ironed out for next week," he added.

Saturday saw the completion of the second round, after play was cut short on Friday by thunderstorms, and several top players failed to make the level-par cut before lunchtime.

Spaniard Sergio Garcia, who was 3-over, failed to make it into the third round and neither did Irishman Padraig Harrington who needed birdies but instead produced two bogeys as he completed the last three holes of his round. Swede Henrik Stenson, the winner of the Players Championship in May, finished on 8-over par.

Britain's Richard Johnson also packed his bags after the Welshman followed up a solid first round 67 with a dreadful 7-over second round featuring nine bogeys.


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