KAPALUA, Hawaii (AP)– Ryan Palmer went through a variety of emotions over the final 15 minutes Saturday that ended with him publishing a 9-under 64 for the best round of the week and a share of the lead with Harris English in the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
Palmer thought he may have been in problem with a thin fairway metal approaching the green on the par-5 18 th. It narrowly cleared native grass left of the green and rolled out to 12 feet, and he two-putted for birdie.
His score stood when guidelines officials identified there was no intent, and no penalty, when he tamped down a divot a few rates away from where his golf ball was rolling after a muffed chip on the ninth hole.
English wasn’t so fortunate with his second shot to the 18 th. He was left and turned up some 15 feet short of clearing the danger. His only great break was that a marshal somehow identified it. Rather of a 3rd shot from 200- plus lawns away, he hacked out to 80 feet away and took two hard putts for par and a 66.
They were tied at 21- under 198, one shot ahead of Collin Morikawa, who likewise flirted with difficulty on the closing hole at the Plantation, finished with a birdie and shot 65.
Until the final hole, the 3rd round at Kapalua was everything about making birdies to avoid losing ground. Scoring has been incredibly low, not simply by one gamer but numerous of them, since of a soft course and little wind.
The leading 3 began to pull away.
Daniel Berger, playing in the final group with English, had a long eagle putt hang on the lip at the 18 th and needed to choose birdie and a 67 that left him three shots behind, still in the mix.
Protecting champion Justin Thomas finally hit a shot he couldn’t discover. 3 times today, he hit it into knee-high native grass and handled to find the ball and twice saved par. He wasn’t so fortunate on the sixth hole, sending it well best and into a deep canyon for a double bogey. Thomas recuperated for a 68 and was 4 back, in addition to Sungjae Im (67).
Masters champ Dustin Johnson was doing his best to keep up till his drive on the par-5 15 th cruised too far best and into the hazard, causing a bogey that felt even worse considering it’s a par 5 he can reach in two with an iron. He missed birdie opportunities being available in and shot 69, seven shots out of the lead.
Xander Schauffele two years ago shot a 62 on the final day to rally from five behind, and such a score is possible in these ideal conditions. But there’s a great deal of players to climb, and English hasn’t shown any signs of withdrawing as he chooses his first triumph in just over seven years.
Palmer has gone even longer– 11 years because his last individual title on the PGA Tour– and played his finest on Saturday.
He knew where it was headed and started strolling, and stepped down a divot a few speeds short of where the ball was rolling.
Palmer stated when he enjoyed the video, he wasn’t sure what worried authorities.
So his score was supported and he now becomes part of a two-way tie for the lead, a final group in between two players who are trying to end a dry spell a competition they are fortunate to be playing.
The field for the Competition of Champions was broadened this year for 2020 winners and anyone who reached the Tour Champion, all since of the COVID-19 pandemic that shut the tour down for three months. Both Palmer and English made it to East Lake. Both wish to make their next victory one that ensures them a go back to Maui.
Right behind them is the PGA champ, Morikawa, going for his third triumph in his last 14 tournaments worldwide.
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