Karlsson closing in on first PGA victory

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A couple of late bogeys no longer worry Robert Karlsson given the remaining 18 holes for him to play.

Karlsson, who led the St. Jude Classic Saturday by five strokes on the back nine, closed the final two holes with his only two bogeys of the day, finishing one stroke ahead of Harrison Frazar at 11 under for the final U.S. Open tuneup.

“I’m very, very happy with where I am at the moment. I mean you’re going to make a mistake here and there,” Karlsson said.

“Just keep doing what I’m doing. I mean it’s a 72-hole golf tournament. It’s a long, long way to go still, and … I’m very happy with where I’m standing and let’s go from there.”

Frazar said he focused only on playing thinking that Karlsson was in total control of the game. He waved his caddie off as he was so confident he had the right line he finished 10 under with a 64.

“Went right in the center, jumped in there like a rabbit,” Frazar said.

Third place went to John Merrick at 67, followed by Retief Goosen, Fredrik Jacobson at 68 and Keegan Bradley at 70.

The 41-year old Karlsson earned an exemption on the PGA Tour by finishing in the money list’s top 125 with 11 events in 2010. That included his best showing yet on the tour when he placed second place to Lee Westwood after he lost a four-hole playoff.

If he is lucky enough and plays it right, he might just become the seventh first-time winner on tour this year.

“I’m in the last group and have a great chance of getting out there tomorrow and play golf,” Karlsson said. “I’m looking forward to that.”