Saturday, 08 August, 2020

Todd shoots 1-under 69 for 54-hole lead at WGC

Pete Cowen Renowned coach Pete Cowen counts Brooks Koepka among his many pupils More
Cary Erickson | 02 August, 2020, 15:56

"I'm excited to be in this position and feel like if I can go out there and swing a little better and keep this putting momentum going, I'll be in good shape", he said. "The best players in the world treat each final round like it's just another day, and they just go out there and try to execute and stick to their game and let the results fall as they do".

The four-time major victor made a blistering start with four straight birdies and recovered from a bogey on the seventh to pick up further shots on the eighth and ninth to reach the turn in 30.

"My caddie really kind of set me up with a good spot there beyond the hole to aim at, and I just focused all on speed", Todd said.

Todd, who won back-to-back titles in November after a five-year trophy drought, was one under through the first nine and stayed that way after mixing three birdies with as many bogeys on the way home.

American Koepka is back on track after a knee injury caused him to miss two of the last three cuts in his most recent tournaments.

Koepka shares 3rd location with previous BMW PGA champ Byeong- hun An (65) and Chez Reavie (67), while Matt Fitzpatrick stormed into the leading 6 with an exceptional 64 which included a pitch-in for an early eagle at the 3rd, simply one bogey and 5 birdies, consisting of two of the last 3 holes. He was fourth at 9 under.

Thomas' 66 means he is four shots back, the former world number one going four under on the back nine - including three straight birdies from the 15th to the 17th. "I felt - didn't really feel I ever hit a putt necessarily offline of where I was trying to, they just didn't go where I thought they'd go". "Yeah, it was nice to shoot 4 under on that back nine to give myself somewhat of a chance". By the end of the round, she was happy to have a share of the lead in the LPGA Drive On Championship in Toledo, Ohio.

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Fowler had actually matched Todd's 64 on the first day, and the popular American likewise commemorated a long birdie putt on the 8th hole, which topped a run of 3 in a row as he raced to 10 under par.

"I just didn't have a swing today", Rahm said. The Tour is entering its busiest phase with this WGC event, next week's PGA Championship in San Francisco, three weeks of US PGA FedEx Cup playoff events and the US Open on September 17-20 at Winged Foot near NY.

Todd started Saturday with a two-stroke lead and finished it one stroke clear after five birdies and four bogeys in a one-under 69 left him at 13-under 198.

Fowler, meanwhile, had moved into the lead at 12 under after a three-under-par front nine.

An inconsistent round for the 35-year-old continued with bogeys at 14 and 17, interspersed with a birdie at 16, to help him shoot a 71. He was tested to be sure, and it came back positive and he withdrew.

Branden Grace tested positive for the coronavirus, a double blow to the South African who was one birdie out of the lead at the Barracuda Championship in Truckee, Calif., and now can't play next week in the PGA Championship. But he felt exhausted Friday night and thought it had to do with playing in altitude.