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Trying to keep PGA Tour status, Brehm leads Puerto Rico Open

March 5, 2022 GMT

RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico (AP) — Fighting to keep PGA Tour status, Ryan Brehm shot a 4-under 68 in rainy conditions Saturday to open a three-stroke lead in the Puerto Rico Open.

Brehm, with wife Chelsey at his side as his caddie, is making his final start on a minor medical extension and needs to win or finish second alone to retain status. He had a 15-under 201 total at Grand Reserve.

“Obviously, if you would have given me that at the start of the week I’d have taken it,” Brehm said. “There’s just so much golf left. I mean, honestly, all Chelsey and I are trying to do is make one good swing after another and march along. That’s really all we’re trying to do.”

The 35-year-old Brehm is winless on the PGA Tour. He’s ranked 773rd in the world.

“I know that somebody’s going to play well, probably more than one person, so it’s up to me to go out and do my job and play my game,” Brehm said. “We’re probably not going to change much strategically. We’ll hit irons off some tees and drivers off others.”

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Michael Kim was second after a 70. Since winning the John Deere Classic in 2018, Kim has made only 16 cuts in 76 starts on the PGA Tour, including one stretch of 25 consecutive events without making it to the weekend. He was No. 75 in the world when he won and now No. 1,030.

“It’s been a while since I’ve been in contention, but felt really comfortable out there, comfortable with my game and really looking forward to tomorrow,” Lee said.

Chad Ramey (68), Andrew Novak (69), Tommy Gainey (69) and Max McGreevy (71) were 11 under.

University of Oklahoma senior Chris Gotterup was 10 under after a 70. Making his PGA Tour debut, he won the Puerto Rico Classic collegiate event two weeks ago at Grand Reserve.

Puerto Rico native Rafa Campos shot a 73 to drop to 5 under.

The event is being played opposite the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Florida. The winner will receive a two-year exemption and gets in the PGA Championship, but will not be exempt for the Masters.