CHAMP: Greg Chalmers, Ernie Els share Senior PGA Championship lead

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Greg Chalmers fired a 5-under 66 on Saturday and shares the lead with Ernie Els after three rounds of the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship at Benton Harbor, Mich.

Chalmers and Els, who carded a 69, are at 10-under 203 entering the final round at Harbor Shores Resort. Richard Bland (74 on Saturday) and Chris DiMarco (71) are tied for third and Richard Green (70) is two shots back in fifth.

Chalmers, from Australia, registered five of his seven birdies on the front nine and also had two bogeys during his third straight sub-70 round at the major tournament.

Chalmers, 50, is enjoying being in contention. This is his fifth Champions Tour start, and his lone PGA title in 485 career starts came in 2016 at the Barracuda Championship.

“This is the great thing about sort of Champions Tour golf,” Chalmers said. “It feels like you’re part of a big event, which you are.

“So I’ve been looking forward to this opportunity. I need the challenge. I’m looking forward to see how I do tomorrow and how I play. See if I can embrace it with both hands and play some good golf.”

Els is looking for his fourth Champions title and his first since winning the Hoag Classic 14 months ago.

The South African had six birdies and four bogeys during his Saturday round.

Els won four major titles on the PGA Tour but hasn’t been the same of type of force since joining the Champions Tour in 2020.

“These guys are good, man,” Els said. “I haven’t really fired on all my cylinders. I’ve been missing a couple either in the putting or driving or something, you know.

“I’m trying to put all the pieces together. I didn’t have a great time from 45 to 50, playing on the regular Tour, so to kind of piece it back together has taken a bit longer. I’ve played really decent golf on the Champions Tour but haven’t had the wins that I’ve been aiming for.”

Bland was the second-round leader after opening with 64 and 66 but he struggled mightily on Saturday. This event is his first on the Champions Tour.

The Englishman had just two birdies to go with five bogeys. Four of the bogeys came during a six-hole stretch from Nos. 8-13.

Still, Bland is just one shot off the lead after struggling all day.

“If someone offered you a shot off the lead at the start of the week, probably would’ve taken it,” Bland said. “Doesn’t quite feel as good as that right now, but just got to get on with it.

“Been around enough to know that you’re going to have some poor days. Of course you are. But do a little bit of work now and just try and get a little bit of just better feel for the golf swing and do a little bit of putting.”

DiMarco had two birdies and two bogeys during his even-par round.

“Hitting the ball for the most part where I was looking,” DiMarco said. “When you’re doing that it’s pretty hard to hit bad shots. Hit a lot of really solid shots out there.”

Green, who shared the first-round lead, carded eagles on two par-five holes (5 and 9) but the Aussie only had one birdie and piled up four bogeys.

“Those two eagles, you know, they saved my round today big time,” Green said. “I dropped a couple shots, and to get myself back under par and through nine holes was really nice. When things go right like that you feel like you’re in for a good week.”

Defending champion Steve Stricker is three shots back and tied for sixth after shooting a 71. Also at 206 are Jason Caron (67), Stewart Cink (71) and Australia’s Scott Hend (70).

–Field Level Media

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