Hubbard's supreme back nine helps him into lead from Hughes at Sanderson Farms Championship

By Sports Desk October 01, 2022

Mark Hubbard has been consistent throughout at the Country Club of Jackson but he pulled out his best round yet to claim a one-stroke lead from Mackenzie Hughes at the Sanderson Farms Championship on Saturday.

Hubbard holed six birdies on the back nine, including five in a row, as he carded a seven-under 65, the second-best round of the day, to move into the lead at 15 under.

The 33-year-old American joined Hughes and Scott Stallings in the co-lead after a classy chip and putt on the par-four 15th hole for birdie, before an excellent 203-yard approach set him up for birdie on the 18th.

Hubbard, who carded rounds of 67 and 69 on the opening two days respectively, holds a one-shot lead from joint day two leader Hughes who shot at four-under 68 on Saturday.

Hughes also enjoyed the back nine with four birdies, including holing a 29-foot putt on the 18th after a bogey on the 17th to stay in touch with Hubbard.

The pair are well placed to contend for the title, with the next best being three players at 12 under after three rounds, in Garrick Higgo, Stallings and Sep Straka.

Stallings was firmly in contention before two bogeys on his final three holes blemished his day, having been bogey-free with six birdies to that point.

Keegan Bradley, who shot the best round of the day with an eight-under 64, and Nick Hardy are tied at 11 under, with Emiliano Grillo, Dean Burmester and Kim Seong-hyeon one further stroke behind.

Belgian Thomas Detry, who had shared the lead with Hughes after 36 holes, endured a tough day that included three bogeys to slip seven strokes behind the leader.

Davis Riley is looming at nine-under overall, while pre-tournament favourites Andrew Putnam and Christiaan Bezuidenhout are eight under after both carded rounds of 69, with reigning champion Sam Burns battling to make a charge, back at six under.

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