Saturday's golf: Tringale shoots 66 to top crowded 3M Open; Stuard 3 shots back
Blaine, Minn. — The third round of the 3M Open was filled with shots into the rough and the water around the 18th green, and sometimes both.
Cameron Tringale stayed out of trouble that so many others didn’t Saturday – and took the lead into the final round.
Tringale made a short par putt on the treacherous par-5 18th hole for a 5-under 66 and a one-stroke advantage over Gary Woodland and Maverick McNealy.
“I drove it pretty well and gave myself some looks that I capitalized on,” said Tringale, who is winless on the PGA Tour. “I really just saved my tail quite a few times with the putter.”
Brian Stuard (Jackson) shot a 70 and was at 9 under, ties for 12th.
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. The 33-year-old topped the crowded leaderboard at 12-under 201. In an interview with reporters afterward, he quickly recalled that he birdied the 18th in the final round of the 2020 edition of the 3M Open, without fans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
“There’s going to be birdies tomorrow. You’re still going to have to go low. You’re just going to have to play a good round in the wind,” Woodland said.
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 unrelenting 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 sure 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, for a cumulative score of 35-over. The rest of the course was 85-under.
Tringale safely hit his first two shots along the edges of the fairway before landing his third attempt at the cusp of the green. His 52-foot shot put himself in perfect position for par.
“It’s picking the right spots to be aggressive,” Tringale said.
Fowler, on the other hand, splashed his third shot well short of the green. After the penalty stroke, he landed in the rough. After escaping that, he left a 20-foot putt short. He took his highest score to finish a round in his tour career.
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.”
With only three tournaments remaining after this prior to the FedEx Cup playoffs, Mitchell is one of several golfers near the 125-man cut who could use a strong performance on Sunday to create a bigger cushion. Mitchell entered the week ranked 114th. Perez was 115th. Chez Reavie, who was two strokes behind Tringale, was 119th. Fowler was 124th.
Senior British Open
Stephen Dodd equaled the lowest round in the history of the Senior British Open by shooting an 8-under 62 at Sunningdale, England, to take a two-stroke lead after three rounds.
The Welshman made nine birdies in a round that also tied Sunningdale’s Old Course record that was set by Nick Faldo at the 1986 European Open and then tied by Shane Lowry in British Open qualifying in 2010.
Jerry Kelly 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). Jimenez was the winner in 2018, and Broadhurst won two years before that.
Dodd birdied four of his first five holes and only dropped one shot in a stellar performance that had him on 11-under 199 heading into the final round.
“I’ve played so little competitive golf over the last 18 months,” he said. “I’ve played one event, so I’m not really sure what will happen. With a little luck, you never know.”
Dodd credited his record-tying round to the course – and some luck.
“The course is just set so well, so fair. If you play well, then there’s chances out there, and luckily today for me I got some of them in,” he said.
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 joins Harold Henning and Jim Colbert in the Senior British Open history books. Both posted 8-under 62s at Turnberry – Henning in 1990 and Colbert in 2003.
A three-time European Tour winner, Dodd 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.
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 at Evian-les-Baines, 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 of New Zealand posted a 68 and was one shot behind the 19-year-old Noh.
South Korean Minjee Lee’s 6-under 65 moved her into a three-way tie for fourth spot at 11 under with Japan’s Ayaka Furue and Thailand’s 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 U.S. 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.