Smith had by no means shot higher than 62 — twice this yr on the PGA Tour, as soon as at his house membership in Brisbane, Australia — when he stood over a 12-foot putt on the 18th gap at Liberty Nationwide for an opportunity on the thirteenth sub-60 spherical on the PGA Tour.
He missed and needed to accept the course file at 11-under 60, and figured that might no less than maintain him in vary of the world’s No. 1 participant.
“Jon is taking part in some fairly good [golf] on the minute, so we have to attempt to catch up,” Smith stated.
Due to Rahm, he did.
The U.S. Open champion ran off 4 birdies in a six-hole stretch across the flip to regain the lead and had good scoring possibilities forward of him. However he twice hit into the water on the second- and third-easiest holes, dropped a mixed three pictures and needed to rally for a 67.
They had been at 16-under 197 and now get a time off due to Hurricane Henri. The PGA Tour seemed on the path, and there was sufficient rain and harmful wind on the perimeters of the storm that they determined to shut Liberty Nationwide on Sunday. The ultimate spherical is scheduled for Monday.
With even a chance of extra rain and no extra golf, Rahm wished the 54-hole lead. At worst, he was decided to not fall behind.
“I did not need to go away it as much as probability,” he stated.
Rahm did not discover an excessive amount of flawed along with his sport. He thought his 4-iron into the par-5 thirteenth was flush and began strolling ahead, ready for the ball to hit the inexperienced. He seen his caddie wasn’t transferring.
“It was a bit larger than I anticipated it and looks as if the wind may need picked up a bit bit,” Rahm stated. “It seemed like about this brief from protecting, so it is a kind of issues that occurs in golf.”
He took a penalty drop, pulled his subsequent shot into thick grass on a financial institution and made double bogey.
Rahm was simply to the left of the reachable par-4 sixteenth in what he thought was a delicate lie. The concept was to provide himself an opportunity at birdie and make par at worst. Nevertheless it got here out scorching, rolled throughout the inexperienced and into the water and led to bogey.
Rahm and Smith had been one shot forward of Erik van Rooyen of South Africa, who made 10 birdies for a 62, one in every of 4 rounds at 62 or decrease.
The typical rating within the third spherical was 68.3.
Smith teed off some three hours earlier than the leaders and opened with 5 birdies in six holes, one in every of a number of good begins. The Australian, nevertheless, saved it going. He picked up his eighth birdie on the thirteenth, got here inside a foot of a hole-in-one on the 14th and began considering 59.
Smith narrowly missed an eagle putt on the sixteenth, hit a wedge stiff on the seventeenth to achieve 11 beneath for the spherical and was one birdie away from the thirteenth sub-60 spherical on the PGA Tour. His strategy to the 18th settled 12 ft to the fitting of the flag.
“Simply did not do it,” Smith stated.
Rahm had an outstanding par save past the 14th inexperienced, hit it shut for a brief birdie on the fifteenth to regain a share of the lead. And after his bogey on the sixteenth, he responded with one other birdie on the seventeenth gap.
And now, a day of relaxation. That is not the worst situation for Smith, realizing it is powerful to return the day after a file rating and attempt to match it. It isn’t the worst for these staying throughout the Hudson River in Manhattan.
“There’s worse cities to be caught in,” Lowry stated. “I am certain I am going to discover one thing to do.”
In addition to, Rahm stated speaks from expertise on having restricted exercise with nowhere to go.
“If COVID quarantine has taught us something, it is what to do the entire day cooped up in a room,” he stated.
Thomas was amongst a number of gamers making a transfer that bought stopped of their tracks. He began the again 9 with three birdies in 4 holes, solely to go lengthy of the par-3 14th right into a hazard and made double bogey. Even so, he is very a lot within the combine.
Harold Varner III made his blunder on the worst time. A poor drive on the 18th was adopted by a blocked strategy over the wall and into the hazard. He made triple bogey, needed to accept a 68 and went from one shot off the result in a tie for ninth, 4 pictures behind.
Varner remains to be in fine condition to be among the many high 70 within the FedEx Cup who advance to subsequent week. Extra stress is on Tom Hoge (No. 108) and Keith Mitchell (No. 101), who’ve to complete someplace across the high 10 to maintain their seasons going.
Hoge shot 67 and was tied for sixth with Lowry and Viktor Hovland (65), three pictures behind. Mitchell took triple bogey with a nasty drive on the tenth. He was tied for eleventh, 5 behind.