SILVIS, Ill. — Sebastian Munoz of Colombia had a 4-under 67 on Saturday for a one-shot lead going into the final round of the John Deere Classic that feels as though it’s just getting started.
Rain overnight and more during the third round left the TPC John Deere soft and prone to low scoring, and just about everyone took advantage.
Munoz overcame two early bogeys by keeping a clean card on the back nine. He took the lead with a tee shot into 6 feet on the par-3 16th hole and was at 16-under 197.
He led by one shot over Brandon Hagy, who is still looking for his first PGA Tour victory in his 93rd career start. Hagy also had a 67.
Five players were two shots behind, a group that included Scott Brown, who had a 63 to match the low score of the round. Adam Long (64), Cameron Champ (64), Kevin Na (66) and Ryan Moore (68) joined him at 14-under 199.
“The beauty of this place is it ain’t over until it’s legitimately over,” said Zach Johnson, a past Deere winner who had a 67. He was six shots behind.
Ten players were within three shots of the lead, all of them knowing what it would take in the final round — birdies. Lots of them.
“You’re going to have to be in attack mode here,” Brown said. “Typically, it’s at least 20-under par or a little more. For me, that’s another 7 under for tomorrow if you look at it that way.”
Five of the last six winners of the John Deere Classic finished at 20 under or better, the exception being Bryson DeChambeau four years ago when he captured his first PGA Tour title at a paltry 18 under.
Luke List is among those within three shots of the lead despite his struggles. List began the weekend with a one-shot lead. He didn’t make a birdie until the 10th hole, and when he missed a 6-foot birdie attempt on the final hole, he had to settle for a 71.
Even so, he still has a chance at his first PGA Tour title.
Of the 20 players within five shots of the lead, seven have never won on tour.
Five of the seven players within two shots of Munoz are not yet eligible for the British Open next week a Royal St. George’s in England. The leading player from among the top five gets in the final major of the year. Munoz already is eligible, while Na has withdrawn because of international travel requirements.
Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker, a three-time winner at the Deere who chose to help celebrate the tournament’s 50th anniversary instead of defending his title in the U.S. Senior Open, had a 68 and was seven shots behind. Stricker birdied his last three holes.