ELLIE MAE CLASSIC DAY 3: Yun holds onto slim lead

August 5, 2017

PGA Golf

Photo: Michael Macor, The Chronicle: Although eliminated from competition from Friday’s round Stephen Curry talks with the media after his second round of the Ellie Mae Classic golf tournament at TPC Stonebrae in Hayward, Ca., on Fri. August 4, 2017. Curry finished the day at 8 over par for the tournament

By Jeremy Harness

 HAYWARD–Now that Steph Curry is out of the Ellie Mae Classic, the story now shifts to the guys who play the game of golf for a living, who rely on their performance in each tournament to improve their chances to get to the sport’s highest level.

 Stanford alum Andrew Yun is now 18 holes away from bettering his shot of getting his PGA Tour card for next season, as he leads this event by a single stroke after carding a 68 in the third round at TPC Stonebrae Saturday afternoon, as he heads into Sunday’s final round with an overall score of 15-under par.

 Yun is currently 12th on the Web.com Tour – considered the minor-league affiliate for the PGA Tour – and the top 25 players on this list at the end of the season get full exemption on the PGA Tour for the 2017-18 campaign.

 He exchanged two bogeys for a pair of birdies on the front nine, but he then played a tighter back nine to hold onto his lead. He parred the first three holes on the back side but then made back-to-back birdies on holes 13 and 14.

 As was the case on Friday, there are close followers waiting for Yun to slip up so that was they could grab the lead and have a chance to take home the trophy and move up the money list. One of those guys is Jim Knous, who went to college at the Colorado School of Mines and is currently 108th on the Web.com Tour.

 After a third-round 66, he only trails Yun by a shot. If he holds this position through Sunday, he is expected to jump 66 spots into the 42nd position with only a few events left in the regular season.

 Another player who can make a big jump and get close to the top 25 is Brandon Harkins, who is an alum of Las Lomas High School in nearby Walnut Creek and played his college golf at California State University, Chico. He shot a two-under 68 on Saturday and heads into the final round in a three-way tie for third and is only two shots off the lead.

 If his position stands, he would leap 14 spots to the 29th position and would stand an excellent chance to sneak into the top 25 and get his PGA Tour card for next season.

 He currently shares the third position with the likes of Lanto Griffin – who is named after a spiritual master (Lord Lanto) and Nate Lashley.

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