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Blixt, Smith share lead

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Jonas Blixt and Cameron Smith produced a bogey-free four-under par 68 on Saturday, stretching their lead to four strokes entering the final round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

Jonas Blixt  (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Jonas Blixt (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Sweden’s Blixt and Australia’s Smith have played 54 holes without a bogey at TPC Louisiana, where the format of two-man teams is a first on the US PGA Tour in 36 years.

‘‘It doesn’t matter how many bogeys you make if you’re in the lead,’’ said Blixt, a two-time winner on the US tour. ‘‘I’m very happy about the way we played.’’

‘‘Kudos to you,’’ Blixt said in turning to his partner, who is seeking a first PGA Tour title. ‘‘You played some really good golf coming in – there were some really hard shots into the wind there.’’

Saturday’s alternate shot format didn’t produce the sizzling scores seen in better ball play on Friday – when Blixt and Smith combined for a 62 to seize a one-stroke lead.

Through 54 holes, they are four in front of two all-US duos: Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown, who posted a 67; and Charley Hoffman and Nick Watney, who carded a 69.

Former world number one Jordan Spieth and fellow Texan Ryan Palmer were a further stroke back after a 70 for 202.

Blixt and Smith started strong with birdies at the second and third. They picked up two more strokes with birdies at 15 and 18 – where Blixt’s 123-yard third shot left Smith a tap-in.

Kisner and Brown opened with nine pars before coming alive on the back nine with six birdies and a bogey.