(WMC-TV) - U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III shot his third straight 2-under 68 on Saturday to join Nick O'Hern and John Merrick atop the leaderboard at the windy FedEx St. Jude Classic.
Love only committed to play in Memphis recently, waiting to make sure he was healthy enough to use this event as a final tuneup for the U.S. Open after qualifying Monday in Columbus, Ohio. Love, who hasn't won since 2008, had three birdies and only one bogey Saturday to match O'Hern and Merrick at 6 under 204. O'Hern had a 67, and Merrick shot 69.
Rory McIlroy, who will try to defend his U.S. Open title next week at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, had a one-stroke lead when he teed off. He shot a 2-over 72 in a round that featured six bogeys and four birdies to drop in a tie at 5 under.
Dustin Johnson, making his second start after a 2 1/2-month layoff recovering from back pain, also was in the group at 5 under after a 67.
Local favorite John Daly came into Saturday at 3 under, but fell off the pace after shooting a 6 over 76. He ended the day at 3 over. Former University of Memphis golfer Jonathan Fly, making the cut in his first pro tournament, shot a 5 over 75, and ended the day at 7 over.
In total, 19 players are within three shots of the lead heading into Sunday's final round at TPC Southwind. The threat of inclement weather has moved tee times up to 7-9 a.m., with players grouped in 3's and beginning at both the 1st and 10th holes. The co-leaders Love III, Merrick and O'Hern will go off at 8:54 a.m.