MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Successful a World Golf Championship occasion simply can be the most important victory of Brendon Todd’s profession.
He has a current reminder of learn how to greatest defend a lead within the remaining spherical — even when that reminiscence is a bit painful.
Todd had a 2-stroke lead going into the ultimate spherical on the Vacationers Championship in late June solely to shoot a 75 and tie for 11th. He shot a 1-under 69 on Saturday on the FedEx St. Jude Invitational to take a 1-stroke lead into the ultimate spherical of this World Golf Championship occasion.
“What I discovered on the Vacationers is simply you can not management the end result, you possibly can’t management the best way you are going to really feel, the place the ball’s going to land, if putts are going to go in,” Todd mentioned. “One of the best gamers on the earth deal with every remaining spherical prefer it’s simply one other day, and so they simply go on the market and attempt to execute and persist with their recreation and let the outcomes fall as they do.”
Todd began the third spherical with a 2-stroke lead. He had 5 birdies and 4 bogeys to place him at 13-under 198 on an almost good day at TPC Southwind with the temperature within the 70s.
The 35-year-old Georgian is in search of his fourth profession victory and third since final fall. That is Todd’s second 54-hole lead because the PGA Tour’s return to play.
“I am excited to be on this place and really feel like if I can go on the market and swing somewhat higher and preserve this placing momentum going, I will be in good condition,” Todd mentioned.
Byeong-Hun An of South Korea, who had 4 straight birdies on the again 9, completed with a 66. Rickie Fowler was 2 strokes again after a 69.
Defending champ Brooks Koepka struggled early earlier than he reeled off six birdies in eight holes for a 68. He was fourth at 9 below.
Justin Thomas, who can turn out to be No. 1 on the earth with a victory right here, was fifth at eight below after a 66. He gained on this course in 2018 earlier than the occasion grew to become a World Golf Championship in 2019.
“I form of discovered one thing these final 12 holes the place I actually began hitting some good putts and making them with good pace,” Thomas mentioned. “Yeah, it was good to shoot Four below on that again 9 to present myself considerably of an opportunity.”
Phil Mickelson (66) and Louis Oosthuizen (68) had been in a bunch 5 strokes again.
Todd began the place he left off Friday, rolling in a 14-footer for birdie on No. 1 to achieve 12 below. Todd could not get out of the tough on the par-Four No. 5 on the best way to solely his second bogey of the match.
Fowler holed out from the green-side tough on the par-5 third to tug inside two. He then joined Todd atop the leaderboard on No. 7. He hit his second shot from 190 yards to 9 ft and made the putt for birdie.
Todd took the lead again to himself on the subsequent gap with a 22-foot birdie putt on the par-Three eighth. Fowler answered with a 17-foot birdie putt on No. 9, making the flip together with his third birdie and a share of the lead at 12 below. Todd pushed his personal birdie likelihood good of the opening.
Fowler took the result in himself for the primary time when Todd bogeyed No. 10 to begin the again 9. Todd hit into the tough off the tee and could not sink a 13-footer to avoid wasting par. Todd sunk a 15-footer for birdie on No. 12, taking again the lead when Fowler two-putted from 13 ft for bogey.
Todd hit his strategy 166 yards to three ft on No. 13 for his shortest birdie putt of the day and a 2-stroke lead. However Todd discovered the water simply wanting the inexperienced on the par-3 14th and threw his hat in disgust at his shot. A bogey dropped him to 12 below.
“That is the simplest to placed on the inexperienced, to not hit within the water,” Todd mentioned. “It was a swing that was out of rhythm that was somewhat bit too usually right this moment and to know I hit the water there, it made me fairly mad.”
He made up for it with a 16-foot birdie putt on the par-5 No. 16 for a 2-stroke lead once more. However he could not stand up and down from the tough off the perimeter of the inexperienced on No. 17 for his fourth bogey.
DIVOTS: Todd has had not less than a share of the 54-hole lead on tour 5 occasions in his profession with 4 of these since final fall. That is probably the most of any participant this season. … Tom Lewis matched the course document with a 61 final shot by Bob Estes in 2001. Jay Delsing first set the document in 1993 when this course was a par-71.