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Two-Time Korn Ferry Tour Champion Kris Ventura Takes 54-Hole Lead at the Astara Golf Championship presented by Mastercard

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Daily Wrap Up

    Written by Staff @KornFerryTour

    Things to Know

    Two-time Korn Ferry Tour winner Kris Ventura cards a 2-under 69 to take the second 54-hole lead / co-lead of his career (previous: one-stroke lead at 2019 Pinnacle Bank Championship presented by Aetna; won by two strokes)

    Five of the nine players standing T6 or higher are past Korn Ferry Tour winners – Kris Ventura (two wins in 2019), Rhein Gibson (T2 / -9; won in 2019), Brett Drewitt (T6 / -8; won in 2020), Curtis Thompson (T6 / -8; won in 2020), David Kocher (T6 / -8; won in 2020 and 2022)

    Kevin Dougherty, the outright 36-hole leader, cards a 1-over 72 and falls into a 4-way T2, one stroke behind outright leader Kris Ventura

    Yuto Katsuragawa (T10 / -7), the highest ranked player in the Official World Golf Ranking (No. 129) in this week’s field, records Saturday’s only bogey-free round and ties the low round of the day with a 5-under 66 to rise from T46 to T10

    Noah Goodwin (T15 / -6), who earned Korn Ferry Tour membership for the first time with a No. 3 finish in the 2022 PGA TOUR Canada Fortinet Cup, matches the low round of the day with a 5-under 66 and makes the largest climb up the leaderboard in the third round (T62 to T15)

    Entering Sunday’s final round, the top 14 players are within three strokes of each other

    Final-round tee times will run in groups of three from 6:35 a.m. through 11:15 a.m. ET off No. 1 tee

    Charting the Leader (stats entering the week)

    CategoryKris Ventura
    Age27 (February 24, 1995)
    2022 Korn Ferry Tour Points ListNo. 111
    Starts – wins – top-10s on Korn Ferry Tour (2022)22-0-1
    Starts – wins – top-10s on Korn Ferry Tour (2023)3-0-0
    Starts – wins – top-10s on Korn Ferry Tour (Career)44-2-7
    Starts – wins – top-10s at the Astara Golf Championship presented by Mastercard1-0-0

    Kris Ventura (Leader / -10)

    Holds second career 54-hole lead in a Korn Ferry Tour event, having converted his previous one-stroke 54-hole lead into a two-stroke victory at the 2019 Pinnacle Bank Championship presented by Aetna

    Opened third round with back-to-back bogeys but rallied with four birdies, including a 10-footer on No. 18 for the outright lead

    Record this season includes missed cut in season opener followed by finishes of T46 and T49

    Turned professional in 2018 out of Oklahoma State University and earned conditional Korn Ferry Tour membership for the 2019 season with a T129 at Final Stage of the 2018 Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament

    Graduated from the Korn Ferry Tour following a two-win 2019 season (won Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank, Pinnacle Bank Championship presented by Aetna)

    Finished outside the top 150 in the FedExCup Standings on the PGA TOUR in both the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons, falling back to the Korn Ferry Tour for the 2022 season

    A native of Puebla, Mexico who represents Norway and currently resdes in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida


    Kris Ventura on making birdie on No. 18 to take the outright 54-hole lead: “It was certainly nice to finish with a birdie. Just started the day pretty rough. All of us started with bogeys. It wasn't easy, so you had to be smart out there. Little by little I started getting back those shots, so I'm really proud that I was able to fight back and shoot under par.”

    Kris Ventura on his 2022 season: “Last year was very tough for me, not the year that I wanted, but I've made some big changes and I'm excited about it. It's almost like if last year didn't happen, I wouldn't be where I am today. I look forward to continuing to play good.”

    Thomas Rosenmueller on his game this week: “I’ve played really well. I think I've missed about four greens the entire week. Been really good off the tee, been really good into the greens and now just wait for the putter to get a little bit hotter. But overall the game feels really good. I'm not surprised to see myself very far atop the leaderboard because I played well the last few weeks, been trending in the right direction and hopefully can get it done tomorrow.”

    Thomas Rosenmueller on earning 12 guaranteed starts for fhe 2023 season via Final Stage: “It was very big. Especially going through it the year before, I knew the courses so it was an advantage overall playing better than the year before. Didn't have to shoot 63 in the final round to make it, so I was a lot more relaxed going into the final round and was able to put it on cruise control. Tried to win, but I knew that I wasn't going to miss it.”


    Four different countries are represented in the top five: Kris Ventura (Norway), Rhein Gibson (Australia), Thomas Rosenmueller (Germany), Ryan Gerard and Kevin Dougherty (United States)

    Thomas Rosenmueller (T2 / -9) holds his highest 54-hole position in his 26th career Korn Ferry Tour start; his previous career-high 54-hole position in a Korn Ferry Tour event was T14 at the 2022 Lake Charles Championship (finished T21)

    First-year member Ryan Gerard (T2 / -9), who earned membership with a No. 5 in the 2022 PGA TOUR Canada Fortinet Cup, stands T10 or higher for the fifth time in the last seven Korn Ferry Tour rounds

    · Rosenmueller and Rhein Gibson (T2 / -9) led the field with seven birdies apiece in the third round

    Gibson and Brady Calkins (T10 / -7) are tied for the most birdies in the field this week (18 apiece), and are tied with Rico Hoey (T15 / -6) for the most total birdies this week (17 birdies, one eagle)

    Round Three Course Statistics - Lagos

    Scoring Average (Par 71): 71.187 [+0.187]

    Scoring Average (Front Nine – Par 35): 35.467 [+0.467]

    Scoring Average (Back Nine – Par 36): 35.720 [-0.280]

    Toughest Hole: No. 2, Par 4, 525 yards – 4.293 [+0.293]

    Easiest Hole: No. 8, Par 5, 555 yards – 4.547 [-0.453]

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