A day for OEMs. By dint of dressing, undressing, getting dressed and so on depending on the numerous showers and the rarer but welcome calms at the end of the day, this “moving day” will have enabled the players to perform in May a winter-spring fashion show as original as it is surprising, to the delight of the sponsors who were able to display their entire collection.
Singing in the rain and enjoying the slightest ray of sunshine, a double mission that Victor Perez fulfilled brilliantly. The French managed to play under par despite the conditions (-1), only ten players achieved this performance this Saturday. Here is the Tarbais in the Top 10 (+1), for his 10th major tournament, when he has never done better than 22nd, already on the PGA Championship in 2020, in San Francisco. Will Victor (Perez) do better than Victor (Dubuisson), 7th in 2014 on this USPGA, at Valhalla golf club? As he scores points and spirits with a view to the next Ryder Cup in Rome, the winner of the last Abu Dhabi Championship (Rolex Series) is already hoping for a Sunday as fluid as his Saturday.
Koepka and Augusta’s lesson
Leader (-6) at the end of this stunning Saturday by having signed the best card of the day (-4), Brooks Koepka will find himself in exactly the same situation as during the last Masters, when Jon Rahm and Augusta had devoured it. The American and head of the LIV gondola then explained: I played not to lose. Next time I will play to win. In Rochester, this Saturday, he added: “ I don’t know what will happen. I can play poorly on a last lap. But with such a state of mind, no, it’s over. At the Masters, I learned a lot “.
The American would not find himself in such a favorable position if Corey Conners, who had had a two-stroke lead on the 6th and had remained impive until the 16th (-2 then for the day), had not committed a double bogey after a mind-blowing scenario: drive into the bunker, topped ball into the bunker which will plug into the exit mound, free drop, unscrewed third shot with an improbable stance and a tricky lie, first putt missed. In five minutes, the house of cards was weakened: ” I did not have a good contact on this one. I looked up, didn’t see the ball land, realized it was buried. Afterwards, I laughed a lot. I remain very happy with the day. I kept calm, I did well “.
Hovland at the rendezvous
Co-leader until the 18th, before a final bogey and at the end of a day in par, Viktor Hovland also believes in his chances of winning a first Grand Slam: “ The idea will be to play smart, to aim for the middle of the greens while hoping that the putter is hot. For the moment, I hit the irons really well but I haven’t made that many birdies (12 in three rounds). I hope that will change. »
If Bryson DeChambeau (-3) and Justin Rose (-2) remained clean all day, Scottie Scheffler constantly battled (+3 Saturday) but remains in the game for the win (-2). After a delicate start to the tournament, Rory McIlroy also recovered (-1) while Michael Block (Pro PGA) continued to provide the show at the same height as Justin Suh (Par). As for Tommy Fleetwood, who left early in the deluge, he managed the feat of beating the course (-2) to stick to Victor Perez and four other players (Cole, Jaeger, Lowry, Lee).
Much lower in the standings, Jon Rahm drowned at the start of the course (6 bogeys on the first 10 holes) before finishing well. The Spaniard (+6) does not play much after his wet Saturday (+2). At least he had fun with Cameron Smith: It was awesome. To sign this score under these conditions, to finish with three birdies between 13 and 18, it’s strong. However, I play without a rain glove, I’ve never liked it and I can’t quite grasp my club with it. At first, you hope the rain will stop soon. Then, well, you adapt! “. A cry from the heart in the form of a leitmotif that had to be adapted to this third round.