August 15, 2014

Piller remains on top in Tennessee

Martin Piller shot 4-under 67 on Friday and remained tied for the lead after 36 holes of the News Sentinel Open.

Farragut, TN ( - Martin Piller carded his second straight 4- under 67 on Saturday to remain on top of the leaderboard at the News Sentinel Open.

Piller, a 2-time winner on the Tour, finished three rounds at Fox Den Country Club at 14-under-par 199.

"I don't know what score it will take," Piller said about Sunday's final round. "I have to continue to execute, starting with that first tee shot tomorrow."

J.J. Killeen fired a 7-under 64 during his third round to move into a share of second place with Fabian Gomez (67) at 13-under 200.

Josh Broadaway (65) and Aaron Watkins (65) are tied for fourth at 12-under, while Ryan Armour (63), Cory Whitsett (64), Bronson Burgoon (64), Derek Fathauer (65), Darron Stiles (65) and Steve Allan (65) shared sixth at minus-11.

Roger Sloan, who shared the second-round lead with Piller, carded a 1-over 72 on Saturday to fall into a tie for 14th place at 9-under 204.

Armour, Burgoon and Whitsett finished their third rounds at 11-under to move to the top of the leaderboard before the overnight leaders took the course.

Armour countered a lone bogey with nine birdies during his 63, while Whitsett and Burgoon each had seven birdies during their bogey-free rounds to claim a share of the clubhouse lead.

Sloan then opened his day with a birdie at the first to reclaim a share of the lead, and his playing partner Piller answered with a birdie at the second to also reach 11-under.

Broadaway, Watkins and Allan would make it an 8-way tie at minus-11 before Broadaway rolled in his sixth birdie of the day at the 11th to claim the outright lead at 12-under.

Watkins followed in the next group with a birdie at the 11th to reclaim a share of the lead before Broadaway bogeyed the 12th to fall back to 11-under.

Piller, meanwhile, followed his gain at the second with a pair of pars before converting a 30-foot eagle putt at the fifth to jump into sole possession of first at 13-under.

"The eagle on No. 5 was huge," said Piller.

Sloan would birdie the fifth to grab a share of second place with Watkins, and then made it two in a row at the sixth to reach 13-under. That was part of a 2-stroke swing at the sixth as Piller bogeyed the hole to drop to minus-12.

Piller used an even bigger swing at the seventh to reclaim the lead as he countered Sloan's double-bogey with a birdie to move to the top of the leaderboard.

He was briefly handed a 2-shot lead when Watkins bogeyed the 14th and 15th to drop to 11-under, but Sloan bounced back from his gaffe with a birdie at the eighth to get back to 12-under.

As Sloan tripped to another double-bogey at the ninth to drop three strokes off the pace, Killeen birdied three straight from the 12th and Broadway birdied the 17th to move into second place at minus-12.

Piller moved two clear with a birdie at the 10th, but Killeen answered with a birdie at the 18th to finish at 13-under.

Piller would par his final eight holes to end at 14-under and carry a 1-stroke lead into the final round.

"I'm going to try and win the tournament," Killeen said. "I know what it takes to win."

Gomez countered a lone bogey with five birdies, including each of his final two holes, to earn his share of second place.

NOTES: Both of Piller's tour wins came in 2010, at the Stadion Athens Classic and Cox Classic ... Killeen is seeking his third win on tour, while Gomez is trying for his second ... Piller holds the 54-hole lead for the third time in his Tour career.

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