FedEx St. Jude Classic 2017: Stewart Cink, Ben Crane Part of 3-Way Tie for Lead

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJune 10, 2017

MEMPHIS, TN - JUNE 10:  Stewart Cink tees off on the seventh hole during round three of the FedEX St. Jude Classic at the TPC Southwind on June 10, 2017 in Memphis, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Stewart Cink, Rafa Cabrera Bello and Ben Crane finished Saturday's third round of the 2017 FedEx St. Jude Classic tied for the lead at nine-under par at TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tennessee.

Cabrera Bello enjoyed the best moving day of the lead trio by posting a five-under 65, which tied the best round of the day. The leaders are followed by Luke List and Chad Campbell, who are tied for fourth and just one stroke off the pace after matching 66s in Round 3.

Here's a look at the updated tournament leaderboard with 18 holes to play:

Cabrera Bello used moving day to surge toward the top of the leaderboard. It's the latest turn in a string of ebb-and-flow play for the Spanish journeyman, who's seeking his first PGA Tour win.

He missed three consecutive cuts in April before rebounding with a couple of strong outings in May, including a fourth-place result in The Players Championship. His struggles returned last week, however, as he missed the cut in the Memorial Tournament.

Cabrera Bello has bounced back nicely this week. His third round was a microcosm of his season as a whole. He played the first and last holes at two-over par, but in between, he rolled home seven birdies to get himself firmly in the mix.

Golf Channel highlighted the back end of one of his hot streaks:

The PGA Tour passed along some of his post-round remarks:

Cink never capitalized off his victory in the 2009 Open Championship. The major title remains his last victory on the PGA Tour, but he's put himself in position to bring that extended drought to an end Sunday following his third straight sub-70 round.

The 44-year-old Alabama native didn't play particularly well in any phase in the third round. So the fact he was able to knock in some timely putts to stay in red numbers is a positive sign. He'll need a more complete effort Sunday in order to grab the win, though.

That includes better iron play similar to his second shot on the fifth, which the PGA Tour highlighted:

Crane is another player looking to bring a long winless stretch to an end this week. Interestingly, the last time he raised a trophy on the PGA Tour came in this same tournament three years ago. His winning score in the 2014 edition of the event was 10-under par.

The American veteran could have grabbed the lead by two or three strokes with a better day on the greens. His play off the tee and with his irons was nearly flawless throughout Round 3, but he failed to convert most of his birdie looks, a fact he'll lament if he doesn't pull out the win Sunday.

Looking ahead, the tournament is wide open heading into the final round. Players have struggled to back up a low round with another one. That's evidenced by the fact the lead was six-under par after Day 1, nine-under par following Day 2 and remains the same after Saturday's play.

There are 31 golfers either tied for the top spot or within five strokes of the lead. The crowded group combined with favorable scoring conditions in Memphis should make for an entertaining, unpredictable finish to the U.S. Open warm-up event.