(Reuters) – Tommy Fleetwood was approaching a groundbreaking PGA Tour win when he survived a struggle for wear after Saturday's third round at the Honda Classic in Florida to gain a one-off lead over Brendan Steele.
Englishman Fleetwood fucked the last two holes for a three-under-par-67 at the water-lined PGA National, which is considered one of the toughest places on the tour all year round.
"Of course it is a big moment in my career if I could win on the PGA Tour. It is absolutely what I want to do and I am absolutely looking forward to the challenge," he said after making five under 205 had posted.
Overnight, American leader Steele fought a 71 to stay very hunting, while two other Englishmen, Lee Westwood and Luke Donald, left two strikes behind.
Nine others were below average for the tournament and certainly not out of competition.
"Par is your friend out there no matter what holes they are. There is no easing," said Fleetwood, a five-time European Tour winner.
"The wind was blowing more consistently today. You are constantly beating in strong winds.
"I'm happy to finish with a good score. I finished a couple of three putts yesterday. They started going on the back nine today. I'll take them when they come."
Runner-up Steele hopes that his playoff loss at the Sony Open in Hawaii last month prepared him for the heat of the competition.
"It's the place you want to be on Sunday. This place will go all the way down to the last holes," he said, referring to the water waiting to take a bad shot.
Westwood, 46, to become the event's oldest winner, was planning his way to a 71, although he wasn't at his best.
"I didn't have an A game today, I struggled a bit with my swing, but I ground it and didn't do too much damage," the former number one told the world.
"I don't feel like two shots are much on this course. It's a risk-reward golf course for steroids."
The American Grayson Murray had a hole-in-one on the 17th, where he hit a pitching wedge from 150 meters away.
His fourth ace on tour gave him a 70. He followed Fleetwood with six strokes.
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