In search of card, Knost takes Hotel Fitness lead

Colt Knost, still trying to earn his PGA Tour card for next season, fired a third-round 5-under 67 Saturday to take the lead at the Hotel Fitness Championship.

After losing his PGA Tour card last season, Colt Knost notched just two top 10s – both in August – in 19 Web.com Tour starts this season, finishing 34th on the regular-season money list.

However, his chances of regaining his PGA Tour status greatly increased following Saturday's 5-under 67 that gave him the 54-hole lead at the Hotel Fitness Championship, the first of four events in the Web.com Tour Finals.

A victory would clinch a PGA Tour card for Knost, who won twice on the Web.com Tour in 2008 to secure a PGA Tour card for the 2009 season. Knost also held PGA Tour status from 2011-13.

"That's obviously my goal (to earn a PGA Tour card)," Knost, 29, told The Associated Press. "We know how big the moment is."

Knost's third-round 67 at Sycamore Hills Golf Club in Fort Wayne, Ind., was his third straight 67 of the tournament. At 15 under, the former SMU standout and 2007 U.S. Amateur champion leads Sam Saunders and Greg Owen by one shot.

Saunders, the grandson of Arnold Palmer, finished 45th on this year's regular-season money list while Owen was two spots shy of finishing 25th in earnings and grabbing one of 25 PGA Tour cards handed out prior to this week.

Two players trying to keep their PGA Tour cards, John Peterson and Bud Cauley, are tied for fourth at 13 under.

The Web.com Tour Finals field consists of Nos. 26-75 on Web.com money list and Nos. 126-200 in the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup standings. The top 25 on the money list following the four playoff events earn PGA Tour cards for the 2014-15 season.

Twenty-five cards have already been given to the top earners on the Web.com Tour during the regular season. Those players are playing for priority.

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