Paul Casey of England chips to the 18th green during the third round of the TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club on September 23, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. AFP pic

ATLANTA: Paul Casey, who has been one of the most consistent finishers on the PGA Tour, fired a five-under 65 on Saturday to vault into the lead after the third round of the Tour Championship.

The 40-year-old Englishman – who missed the birth of his second child to play in Atlanta this week – drained a long-curving putt for birdie on the par-four 17 to help give him a two-shot lead over Americans Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele heading into Sunday’s final round at the East Lake Golf Club.

Casey, who is looking for his second career USPGA Tour win and his first in eight years, is at 12-under 198 in the final tournament of the PGA Tour’s 2017 playoffs.

Kisner (64) and rookie Schauffele (65) are tied for second at 10-under 200.

Tied for fourth at seven-under 203 is reigning PGA champion Justin Thomas (70), Patrick Reed (69) and Brooks Koepka (68).

Casey has finished in the top 10 eight times this season, with most of those coming in the second half of the season.

Casey started quickly with two birdies and an eagle in his first six holes on Saturday. He curled in a long putt on 17 for a birdie, the fifth of his round.

Casey closed by saving par with an adventurous No. 18. His approach landed short of the green in the rough then dribbled into a bunker. He tried to chip out but got too much sand and his ball found the rough again. He eventually chipped onto the green and then one-putted for par.

Top-seeded Jordan Spieth followed his 70 on Friday with a one-under 69 to reach a four-under 206 total, eight shots back of Casey. — AFP

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