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BC-GLF--Puerto Rico Open,1st Ld-Writethru

February 23, 2019
Aaron Baddeley shot a 6-under 66 at windy Coco Beach Golf and Country Club to take the third-round lead in the PGA Tour’s Puerto Rico Open. Baddeley had a 12-under 204 total for a one-stroke lead over Nate Lashley in the event that was canceled last year because of Hurricane Maria.

RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico (AP) — Aaron Baddeley shot a 6-under 66 on Saturday at windy Coco Beach Golf and Country Club to take the third-round lead in the PGA Tour’s Puerto Rico Open.

Baddeley had a 12-under 204 total for a one-stroke lead over Nate Lashley in the event that was canceled last year because of Hurricane Maria.

“I hit a lot of greens today,” Baddeley said. “I just feel like it was a pretty low stress today. I hit the ball close a few times, I had some short birdie putts, so just doing a few things like that made it pretty comfortable.”

The 37-year-old Australian won the 2016 Barbasol Championship for the last of his four PGA Tour titles.

“The last couple weeks I haven’t quite hit the ball as I normally have been hitting it,” Baddeley said. “And then figured out one little thing I wasn’t quite doing, one of my keys. And this week I’m hitting the ball really well. And also making some putts. That’s key.”

Lashley, tied for the second-round lead with D.J. Trahan, had a 69.

Martin Trainer was 10 under after a 69, and Trahan had a 71 to drop into a tie for fourth at 9 under with Joey Garber (65), Martin Piller (66), Wyndham Clark (69) and Johnson Wagner (69).

Daniel Berger, at No. 72 has the highest world ranking in the field, was 6 under after a 69.

Rafael Campos, the Puerto Rican player who won a Web.com Tour event in the Bahamas in January, shot 74 to fall into a tie for 50th at 1 under.

Bryson Nimmer, the Clemson senior making his first PGA Tour appearance, was even par after a 72.

The winner will receive a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour and an exemption to the PGA Championship, but won’t get an invitation to the Masters.