Ben Martin takes Las Vegas lead

Tony Finau drives off the first tee during the third round of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open golf tournament Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
John Locher

LAS VEGAS (AP) Ben Martin birdied five straight holes on the back nine Saturday and finished with a 9-under 62 to take a two-stroke lead in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

Winless in 55 career starts on the PGA Tour, the 27-year-old former Clemson player matched his best score on the tour - set last year in the Zurich Classic - to get to 17-under 196 at TPC Summerlin.

Martin had four birdies and bogey on the front nine, birdied No. 10 and took the lead with his birdie run on Nos. 13-17.

Scotland's Russell Knox, tied for the second-round lead with Andrew Putnam, was second after a 66.

Jimmy Walker also had a 62 to move into a tie for third with Andrew Svoboda at 13 under. Walker won three times last season and played in the Ryder Cup. Svoboda had a 67.

Defending champion Webb Simpson also had a 67 to top the group at 12 under.

Putnam shot a 73 to drop into a tie for 24th at 8 under. He had six bogeys, four in a six-hole stretch on the back nine.

Jarrod Lyle was tied for 42nd at 6 under after a 70. The Australian is making his second PGA Tour start since a recurrence of leukemia some 18 months ago.

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