MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Brian Gay is doing his best to run away with the St. Jude Classic, and he's 18 holes away from finishing a wire-to-wire victory that would earn him a place in this week's U.S. Open.

Gay shot a second straight 4-under 66 yesterday to keep the lead by a stroke over Bryce Molder after the third round at the TPC Southwind.

Gay, who won at Hilton Head in April, can earn an Open berth with a second win this year. He has just five bogeys this week, and his only one yesterday came on 18 after his second shot from a fairway bunker hit the water. That dropped him to 14-under 196.

Phil Mickelson, who shot a 68 and was 11 back at 206 in his first event since announcing his wife's diagnosis of breast cancer, still isn't happy with his putter. "I haven't putted well the first three days," he said. "I feel like I've struck the ball well, but have not been able to get it in the hole and shoot a good low number and mostly because of the putter."

John Daly's comeback to the PGA Tour stretched into the weekend as he made the cut in this storm-delayed event on the line at even par. He shot a 68 that had him 1 over.