Emotional Woodland secures 54-hole lead at Kapalua
Gary Woodland carded a 5-under 68 on Saturday to consolidate his three-stroke lead after 54 holes at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
Woodland, who started the week ninth in the Race to the FedEx Cup, is projected to finish it first if he continues in this vain for the remaining 18 holes.
Woodland soldiered on Saturday, shortly after receiving word that his grandmother had died in Kansas on Friday night.
Perhaps fuelled by some of that emotion, the American drained three birdies on a bogey-free front nine, followed by a memorable eagle at 15 and birdie on the 18th. Woodland drained what is estimated to have been a 63-foot putt for that eagle.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 6, 2019
His only blemish of the round was recorded on the par-four 12th, where he carded a five.
Traditionally, Woodland does not handle the 54-hole lead of a tournament very well. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to see him squander this glorious opportunity.
Positions two to four on the leaderboard are cramped but the one player with the most realistic prospect of stemming this stunning Woodland tide is Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy.
McIlroy, who also carded a 68 for the round, is showing further glimpses of the player he was in his early twenties – an ominous sign for the rest of the players competing on the PGA Tour.
Australian Marc Leishman is alone on 13-under, after he also a carded a 68 on a dramatic moving day. Rounding up the top five are Xander Schauffele and Bryson DeChambeau, both on 12-under for the tournament.
It is quite impossible to see anybody else challenging for the title beyond that though. Player of the Year Brooks Koepka encountered more adversity on Saturday, and finds himself fourth from the bottom of the leaderboard with the 18 holes to play.
The US Open Champion carded an even 73 for the third round, which puts into harsh perspective just how much rust he has had to negotiate this week.
Equally stunning was the performance of Bubba Watson, who carded a 74 on yet another round where he just wasn’t able to get anything going at Kapalua.
Injury rules Open champion Cameron Smith out of BMW Championship
The Australian world number two currently sits third in the FedEx Cup standings, 1,132 points behind leader Will Zalatoris.
Will Zalatoris triumphs in dramatic playoff to claim first PGA Tour win
The American defeated Austria’s Sepp Straka in three extra holes at TPC Southwind – despite not making a birdie.
Ewen Ferguson seals wire-to-wire victory at ISPS Handa World Invitational
The 26-year-old Scot also won the Qatar Masters in March.
New Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald motivated by ‘bitter’ memories of 2021 defeat
Stenson was stripped of the role for breaking his contract by joining the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series.
The task facing Luke Donald after replacing Henrik Stenson
Stenson was appointed on March 15 and said he was fully committed to a role before signing with the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series.
Tony Finau claims second straight PGA Tour victory
The American won the 3M Open in his previous outing.
Henrik Stenson cushions Ryder Cup blow with £3.6m debut win in LIV Golf
The Swede was stripped of his role as Europe captain after joining the Saudi-backed breakaway tour.
Former Masters champion Bubba Watson becomes latest player to join LIV Golf
The left-hander is currently sidelined by a knee injury and is not expected to play until next season,
Luke Donald tipped to replace Henrik Stenson as Europe’s Ryder Cup captain
The Swede lost the job 127 days after his appointment following his decision to join the LIV Golf series.