WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS - Scott Stallings has enjoyed himself this week at The Greenbrier Resort, but today could be his most memorable day yet.
The 26-year-old PGA Tour rookie fired a 4-under-par 66 on historic Old White TPC during Saturday's third round of the second annual Greenbrier Classic to vault into second place at 9-under 201, just one stroke behind leader Anthony Kim.
Stallings will be paired with Kim in today's final grouping, the first such honor for Stallings. He's finished in the top 25 six times this year but is still seeking his first victory.
"I feel like if I give myself good opportunities to make birdies I'll have a chance and all that other stuff will take care of itself,'' said Stallings, who turned in a 5-under 65 Friday. "Just try to go out there and try to hit a good shot and try to go from there.''
That approach worked Saturday as Stallings, whose best finish this year was third at the Transitions Championship, only had four birdies - two each on the front and back nine - but continued his streak of 42 straight rounds without a bogey.
"My coach and I had a really good week my week off during the British Open and I felt like a lot of things were coming together,'' said Stallings, who earned his PGA Tour card by finishing in a tie for 11th at the 2010 Qualifying Tournament.
"I felt good coming into this week. It's my dream come true [playing on the PGA Tour]. I've wanted to do this since I was a little kid. I was that guy that on Sundays that's all I did, watching the PGA Tour. It feels more comfortable day in and day out.''
Stallings said the experience this week at America's Resort can't be duplicated.
"This whole place is incredible,'' he said. "I mean just the concerts each night and just the amenities. The golf tournament is phenomenal, but it's nice going to a place where you definitely feel like they go out of their way to make you feel welcome.
"I was on the charter from Canada [coming from the RBC Canadian Open last Sunday] and as soon as you got here you saw 30 people welcome you at 4 o'clock in the morning. It's one of those things like, 'Man, they definitely care about the players and they want them to have a good experience and they want them to come back.' I have no complaints whatsoever. I had an absolute blast and I can't wait to come back.''
Stallings said he isn't going to get too caught up thinking about his first victory.
"All that stuff takes care of itself,'' he said. "I mean, you could play really good and not win. In Tampa [in the Transitions Championship] I felt like I played great and didn't win.
"Gary [Woodland] and Webb [Simpson] both played awesome and I felt like I got beat. At the end of the day, you just do as good as you possibly can. It that's good enough, that's awesome.''
Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at tatkin...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4811.