Saturday, June 10, 2017

Three tied for the lead after 54 holes at

FedEx St. Jude Classic

US PGA Tour website
After the third round of the FedEx St. Jude Classic, Rafa Cabrera Bello (65), Ben Crane (68) and Stewart Cink (69) are tied at the top at 9 under.
Luke List and Chad Campbell each shot 66 and are just a shot behind. There are 21 players within four shots of the lead at 5 under or better going into Sunday.   
For more coverage from TPC Southwind, click here for the Daily Wrap-up.


Ben Crane, 41, is a five-time winner on the US PGA Tour but came into this weekend's tournament well down the list at 161st in the FedExCup and 461st in the Official World Golf Ranking.
He couldn’t have looked happier Saturday.
He kept his ball on the fairways at TPC Southwind; chatted with good friend Stewart Cink, who was also playing well; saw friends and family in the gallery; and had a thoughtful discussion about golf course architecture as he wondered if there was anywhere else he’d rather be.
All the while, the Oregonian turned Texan turned Tennessean (his current home) was shooting a bogey-free 68 to get into position for his latest career highlight. His round was one of only two on the day without a bogey, along with Scott Stallings (65).
“It's great to be here so close to home,” Crane said. “We live right down the road in Nashville and so many great friends and a lot of family out here as well.
“… I love this golf course. I love the routing of it. I think it's one of the best courses. Stewart and I were mentioning walking up, ‘Is this the best golf course on TOUR?’ It's certainly in the top five. It's just really well thought out. I couldn't love it any more.”
It loved him back as Crane won the 2014 FedEx St. Jude Classic, the last time he held a 54-hole lead/co-lead on TOUR. He would become the sixth multiple winner here after Dave Hill (four), Lee Trevino (three), Nick Price (two), David Toms (two) and Justin Leonard (two.)


Cink, 44, and Crane, 41, aren’t the only ones rolling back the odometers at TPC Southwind. Chad Campbell, 43, got to 9 under but dropped a shot at the 17th hole and signed for a 66, getting himself in prime position for his first win since the 2007 Viking Classic.
A decade ago, Campbell's face was gracing golf magazine covers, beating Padraig Harrington in Ryder Cup singles (in Team USA’s winning effort in 2008), and racking up four Tour titles when he wasn’t contending in majors. He came into this week 88th in the FedExCup standings after a solid two weeks in his native Texas, where he registered a T13 at the AT&T Byron Nelson and a T34 at the DEAN and DELUCA Invitational.


For the second straight day, Phil Mickelson dropped multiple shots on the closing holes, but his 69 left him tied for 13th and just four shots off the lead at 5 under par.
This time, his par putt horseshoed out of the hole at the 17th hole, and he hit his tee shot into the water hazard and double-bogeyed the 18th hole to leave a sour taste.
The most under-par player at the FedEx St. Jude over the last five years, Mickelson is still looking for his first victory since the 2013 Open Championship. He also has unfinished business at TPC Southwind after finishing second in 2013 and 2016, T3 in 2015, and T11 in 2014. 


Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello chipped in at the third and fourth holes and took just nine putts over his first eight holes as he surged into contention. He shot 65 to get to 9 under par, in prime position for his first US PGA Tour victory at age 33.
A two-time winner on the European Tour, Cabrera-Bello is 91st in FedExCup points and 30th in the Official World Golf Ranking, but is in position to improve both of those numbers. 
“It got me in a good mood,” Cabrera Bello said of the consecutive chip-ins. “And that’s probably why it helped me play better throughout the day.”
His 65 was tied for the low round of the day with Scott Stallings and Tyrone Van Aswegen. Cabrera Bello’s co-leaders Cink and Crane each have multiple TOUR wins.
“To be fair, today it’s been like playing a new course,” Cabrera Bello said. “I really felt like it was much firmer, much faster. I’ve been pretty much hitting driver everyone on the course these past few days, including practice rounds, just because the ball was rolling nowhere.
“Today was a bit different.”





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