At the dawn of the last day, the ranking of the first tournament of the PGA Tour season remains very compact with no less than 18 players separated only by 4 moves! Paul Barjon (photo) did not take advantage of the “moving day” to get closer to the head.
In the lead the leader at mid-tournament Maverick McNealy was joined by Jim Knous a 31-year-old Colorado player whose best performance in thirty tournaments on the PGA Tour is a top 10 on the same course at Silverado Resort during the 2019 edition of the Safeway Open.
22 here is Knous
Knous had eight birdies, including five on the first nine holes, to climb to the -14 mark that McNealy also finished with three consecutive birdies to close a roller coaster day.
Note that Knous, particularly skilled on his irons, only needed 22 putts for the 22 meters of putts he had to play.
Homa, Simpson and Mickelson on the lookout
Besides Knous two other players returned cards of 65 and jumped in the standings. The winner of the Genesis Invitational in Los Angeles Max Homa progressed 21 places and moved to 3rd place two strokes behind the leading duo while Webb Simpson tumbles to 9th place thanks to 7 birdies on its last 11 holes.
The winner of the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island Phil Mickelson also stood out by making its best card of the week. A 67 which allows him to also integrate the top 10 at 4 strokes of the leaders.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) September 18, 2021
Despite five consecutive birdies on the last nine holes, the left-hander immediately went to the practice green to perfect his new armlock technique which he uses for the first time this week.
« I felt like I blocked a few putts… and I just needed to work on that ” , said Mickelson.
Satisfied to have crossed the cut Friday evening at nightfall, Paul Barjon was hoping to have a good third lap and also to operate a good close in the standings. Unfortunately the Frenchman who only touched 5 of the 14 fairways alternated the good and the worse on his first 9 holes with 3 birdies, 2 bogeys and 4 pars.
Barjon notably missed the greens of the two par 3s without managing to save par. Errors that he compensated for by two birdies on the two par 5s of the first half of the course, helped by two drives beyond 300 yards and a putt of 6 meters at 9!
The former member of the France team passed by Texas Christian University who took 13 of the 18 greens in regulation, completed this “moving day” with a card of 71 and a good birdie at 18 which allows him to limit his decline in the classification to 2 places.
The video summary of the 3rd round
Photo Meg Oliphant/Getty Images/AFP