Shawn Stefani and Harris English battle goes on

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SHAWN Stefani and Harris English continued to slug it out at the top of the leaderboard as the FedEx St Jude Classic moved into its closing stages in Memphis last night.

English had led after the second round but Stefani fired a superb 66 on Saturday to take a one-shot advantage into the final day. A bogey on the first dropped Stefani back into a share of the lead at 11 under and English was there with him after two bogeys and two birdies on the opening five holes.

Scott Stallings hit birdies on the third and sixth to move within a shot of the lead after seven holes of his final round while Patrick Reed and Nicholas Thompson were a shot further back after six.

Phil Mickelson was a further shot behind alongside Ryan Palmer who can qualify for the US Open should he have completed an unlikely overnight victory over his remaining 10 holes.

Padraig Harrington dropped two shots in his first seven holes to drop to four under, the same score as Englishman Ian Poulter who was one over for the day.

Billy Horschel and Australian Robert Allenby, the highest placed non-American in the field in a tie for 12th, held the clubhouse lead after both men went round in 67 yesterday afternoon.

Mickelson’s performance on Saturday – when he fired a sparkling five-under 65 – gave the American a boost ahead of this week’s US Open.

“I’ve played better each round and I’m encouraged by that,” said the four-times major winner after mixing an eagle at the par-five third with six birdies and three bogeys. “I could really get some glimpses of my game getting where I want it. Hopefully, I’ll put together a really low round (on Sunday) and catch the leaders.”