Cameron Tringale made a short par putt on the treacherous par-5 18th hole at the 3M Open in Blaine, Minn., for a 5-under-par 66 and a one-stroke lead Saturday over Gary Woodland and Maverick McNealy.
Tringale, who tied for third last year at the TPC Twin Cities, eagled the par-5 12th and had three birdies in a bogey-free round. Winless on the PGA Tour, the 33-year-old topped the crowded leaderboard at 12-under 201.
Woodland overcame a double bogey on No. 1 with birdies on five of his next six holes in a 67. McNealy had a bogey-free 68.
Pat Perez shot a 66 to join an eight-way tie for fourth, two shots off the lead. Four players were three strokes back. Louis Oosthuizen, the highest-ranked player remaining at No. 9 in the world and in the FedEx Cup standings, was in a six-way tie for 16th place at only four shots behind.
During yet another unseasonable day of 90-plus-degree heat, the scores crept up throughout the afternoon with the thermometer as drier and breezier air affected the play.
Keith Mitchell had a record-tying seven straight birdies to start his round on his way to a 29 on the back nine. The front nine? He posted a 37 for a 66 that left him four strokes behind Tringale. Rickie Fowler birdied six of his first 10 holes, before a triple bogey on the 18th left him with a 70 and a tie for 29th in a six-stroke deficit.
The mini-lake in front of the 18th hole swallowed up a lot of balls. It’s currently ranked as the hardest par 5 on the PGA Tour. There were nine bogeys and 12 scores worse than that Saturday.
Mitchell matched Juan Sebastián Muñoz (2020), Brandt Snedeker (2007) and Joe Durant (2005) with seven birdies in a row to begin the round.
The 29-year-old Mitchell, whose only career PGA Tour victory came in the Honda Classic in 2019, had his streak stopped when a putt lipped out on the 17th green. Then the hot air grew drier and breezier, forcing a more conservative approach. The momentum shift, he said, was palpable. His tee shot on box No. 1 after the turn landed into the native grass area.
“I was like, ‘If I keep swinging like this and executing like this, we’re going to have a chance, and then the wind picked up and I clearly didn’t,’” said Mitchell, who described his day as “two completely different rounds.”
The first half of his card was clearly a keeper.
“I actually felt some nerves a little bit, but they were good nerves. It was a good kind of nervous, not like the ‘Hope I don’t miss the cup’ nerves or ‘Where do we stand on the FedExCup’ nerves. It’s more of like, ‘Hey, I’m in contention again, and I want to play well’ nerves, and those are the good kind. Those are the fun kind.”
LPGA — The day after making golfing history, Jeongeun Lee6 extended her Evian Championship lead to five strokes after a 3-under-par 68 in the third round on Saturday. in Evian-Les-Bains, France.
She’s at 18 under overall and the nearest challenger is teenage American Yealimi Noh at 13 under after carding a 4-under 67.
The 2015 champion Lydia Ko posted a 68 and was one shot behind the 19-year-old Noh.
Minjee Lee’s 6-under 65 moved her into a three-way tie for fourth spot at 11 under with Ayaka Furue and Pajaree Anannarukarn, who drifted back with a 1-over 72.
On Friday, Lee6 tied the golf majors record for the lowest round ever by a female or male with a 10-under 61, while her history-making 36-hole score of 127 was the lowest in a major, beating the 128 by Brooks Koepka at the 2019 PGA Championship.
But on Saturday Lee6 had a mixed bag of three bogeys, four birdies, and an eagle.
She started just before midday by going too wide on an approach to the green and landing in the rough, but still almost chipped in before holding for par.
A rare error on the third hole saw her tee shot land in the bunker and she ended up with her first bogey since the 13th hole in the first round.
Lee6 birdied again on 10, eagled 11, bogeyed 17 after swiping an approach way wide from the fairway, and birdied 18.
Inbee Park, a seven-time major winner who won the Evian in 2012 before it became a major, was out of contention and tied at 16th at 7 under after a par 71.
New world No. 1 Nelly Korda was tied for 32nd, and defending champion Jin Young Ko dropped way down to 74th after carding a miserable round of 76 including four bogeys and a double bogey.
She won at Evian in 2019 but the event was canceled last year amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Seniors — Stephen Dodd shot an outstanding 8-under 62 to take a two-stroke lead after three rounds of the Senior British Open in Sunningdale, England.
The 55-year-old Welshman made four birdies on the first five holes and nine on the day at Sunningdale. He dropped a shot on the 10th but his otherwise stellar performance had him on 11-under 199.
Jerry Kelly, a 54-year-old American, was two shots back after carding a 68 and day two leader Darren Clarke (70) slipped three strokes off the lead in the final senior major championship of the year.
Defending champion Bernhard Langer (70) was four shots off the pace with Miguel Angel Jimenez (67) and Paul Broadhurst (69). Broadhurst won in 2016 and was runner-up in 2019.
The 63-year-old Langer won in 2019 at Royal Lytham & St. Annes for his fourth victory in the event. The 2020 tournament was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Two-time British Open champion Ernie Els (70) was five shots back after three rounds.
Dodd, a three-time European Tour winner, made his Senior Tour debut at the Senior British Open in 2016, when he had his best finish at the event — a share of 14th place.
The Welshman, who won his first professional title at the 1992 Austria Open, is a three-time winner on the European Senior Tour. His last victory was on his 52nd birthday when he finished off a wire-to-wire victory at the Winston Senior Open in Germany.
Kelly, who leads the Schwab Cup, has yet to post a top 10 in this three Senior British Open appearances.
US Junior Amateur — Nicholas Dunlap, 17, won at The Country Club of North Carolina by beating Cohen Trolio, 3 and 2, in the 36-hole final.
Dunlap, from Huntsville, Ala., won three straight holes to take control and finished off the 18-year-old Trolio, from West Point, Miss., with a par win on the par-3 34th.
In calm conditions on the tree-lined Dogwood Course in Pinehurst, N.C., Dunlap tied it with a birdie on the par-5 27th, took the lead with a par on the par-4 28th and made it 2 up with another par win on the par-4 29th.
Trolio missed a chance to take the par-5 30th when he pulled a 4-foot birdie putt left, and Dunlap increased his lead to three with a par win on the par-3 31st.
Dunlap earned a spot next year in the US Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass. Dunlap and Trolio had already secured spots in the US Amateur next month at Oakmont before the event began.
European — Nacho Elvira will take a six-shot lead into the final round of the Wales Open after a 5-under-par 66 put him in control at 16 under in Newport.
“It‘s a good feeling,” he said. “But to be honest, I don’t care at the moment. I struggled a bit the last year, year-and-a-half, not with form but it’s golf — mentally, a little bit physically, battling with an injury. I’m happy playing golf again and being in the moment. To be in contention is a gift.”
The Spaniard has not had a top 10 in more than two years and arrived at Celtic Manor having made just two of his last 11 cuts. Elvira bogeyed the first hole after starting with a two-shot advantage but responded with birdies on the second, fifth, ninth, 11th, 14th, and 17th.
England’s Callum Shinkwin matched the lowest round of the week with a 63 on day three but may need to repeat that feat if he is to have a chance of reining in the leader, who is looking for his first win on the European Tour.
Shinkwin used his distance to take advantage of the four par-5s and the drivable par-4 15th, with a 30-foot putt on the l7th bringing one of his three other gains.
Chase Hanna, Justin Harding, and Mikko Korhonen were alongside Shinkwin at 10 under, a shot clear of Sam Horsfield.