RMC recap: Highlights from Day 3 at Detroit Golf Club, including a 'home run' at 14

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
Cameron Champ's third-round 75 included a mighty blast where he overshot the 14th green by a wide margin on Saturday.

Detroit — Here's a look at Saturday's highlights from Day 3 of the Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club:

Shot of the day

Not every shot of the day has to be a great shot, right?

Good. Because Cameron Champ's second shot to the par-5 14th hole wasn't a thing of beauty, but it was mighty impressive.

Sitting in the middle of the fairway, he had 256 yards to the hole — and all he did was launch it 331 yards, easily clearing the grandstand behind the green like it was the Green Monster or something.

The ball ended up in the middle of the 18th fairway, 75 yards from the hole.

A view from behind Cameron Champ's ball in the 18th fairway. Problem was, he was playing the 14th hole.

Champ took a drop, of course, to the dismay of fans, who wanted to see him take that shot back up and over the stands. "Play it as it lies!" one fan said.

Instead, Champ got a free drop (man-made obstruction), near the 16th tee, and chipped up to about 30 feet. He almost made the putt for birdie, but it barely slid by.

Unlike his approach shot, which more than barely carried everything.

It was one of many misadventures for Champ in Round 3, after he torched the course in Round 2. A shot off the lead entering the third round, he limped to a 3-over 75, is at 10 under and will play his final round alongside Petoskey's Joey Garber.

There were two hole-outs from the fairway on par 4s for eagle Saturday: Sungjae Im from 141 yards on the sixth, and Jason Kokrak from 125 yards on the 12th.

Hole of the day

The par-4 10th hole is one of the shortest par 4s on the course, though it's not exactly a slouch at 425 yards. No matter. PGA Tour pros had their way with it Saturday.

The hole, a dogleg right, played the easiest it has all week, with an accessible pin position on the right side of the green.

It proved a big hole for Nate Lashley, so far the wire-to-wire leader, who carried over the momentum of a front-nine 32 with a birdie at the 10th en route to a back-nine 31 (giving him 63, tying the lowest round of the tournament, shot by himself on Thursday).

It also was a big hole for Jackson's Brian Stuard, who also made birdie there to continue his fine round, which vaulted him into the top 10 on the leaderboard.

For the day, 23 players made birdie and just six made bogey. It was the 15th-easiest hole during the third round.

Quote of the day

Stuard is know to be hard on himself on the golf course. He expects a lot out of his game. So coming into this week, he admitted there was definitely some pressure to perform in his home state, and in front of more than 400 friends and family — not to mention all the new fans he's made this week.

"Yeah a little bit," he acknowledged after his third-round 65. "It's definitely been ramped up a notch this week, but I just tried to tell myself to just try to keep playing some good golf. I know I've been playing well. It's been a great week so far."

Area 313 update

It's going to take a miracle Sunday for a pro to trigger the Area 313 payout to charity, a whopping $313,000.

It's activated if anybody goes 3-1-3 on Nos. 14-16, a par 5, then a short par 3, and a par 4. There only are three players in the field who have made an eagle at the 13th, and none of those three have made a birdie at 16.

And, of course, nobody's made the ace at 15.

The closest call Saturday was Kevin Kisner, who hit it to 1 foot, 9 inches. That's the closest call at week at No. 15.


Twitter: @tonypaul1984

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