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Stricker closes on Perez with 11-under 61

  • Story Highlights
  • Pat Perez leads by two strokes after third round of the 90-hole Bob Hope Classic
  • Fellow American Steve Stricker charges out of the pack to lie second after an 11-under 61
  • Hawaii's Charlie Wi also shoots 61 on day of low scoring in California
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(CNN) -- Pat Perez continued to lead after the third round of the Bob Hope Classic but fellow American Steve Stricker took close order after a brilliant 11-under 61 in California.

Stricker acknowledges another birdie during his superb third round 61.

Perez is battling hard to secure his first PGA Tour victory at the age of 32.

Perez, who opened with rounds of 61 and 62 in the 90-hole tournament, owed his two shot lead over Stricker to a five-birdie burst in his closing nine holes on the way to a 67.

Stricker tied Charlie Wi for best round of the day in a low-scoring event, as he chases his first win since 2007.

"I just gave myself a lot of opportunities today," Stricker told the Press Association.

"I kept the ball in play, hit some close shots, made a couple of lengthy putts and everything that you need to do in an 11-under round, I guess I did.

"I guess the biggest thing was I gave myself a lot of opportunities and didn't make any mistakes."

Perez, a 32-year-old chasing his first PGA Tour win, is putting thoughts of a breakthrough victory on the back burner.

"No, I won't think about that at any point," he said.

"I'm just going to try to go as low as I can and make a lot of putts. That's all I'm going to do."

Vaughan Taylor (64) is three shots back while David Berganio (68), Chris Stroud (67), Richard Johnson (67) and Jason Dufner (67) are all four shots off the lead.

The annual event, now hosted by golfing legend Arnold Palmer, is being played over four courses and features a first prize of $918,000.

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