LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Two players to watch on Sunday afternoon who aren’t vying for the title or the money lead are Spencer Levin and D.J. Trahan.
Levin is bidding to crack the top 30 on the money list and earn his first start at the Masters next spring. Levin has played 13 holes and is 6 under for the tournament – and he trails No. 30 Kevin Na by $15,209 right now.
Na won his first PGA TOUR event four weeks ago at the Justin Timberlake Shriner’s Hospitals for Children Open. Winners of Fall Series events, though, do not get Masters invitations and Na opted not to play this week. His final event of the year is the Shanghai Masters next week.
Trahan, who started the week No. 123, started on the back nine and has played eight holes. He was the bubble boy through three rounds and has dropped down to No. 126 right now.
By Zak Kozuchowski, PGATOUR.COM
Smooth greens and soft conditions led to ultra-low scores in Round 3 at Annandale.
For many players, Round 3 was their second round of the day. But the physical challenge of playing 36 holes in mid-summer Mississippi heat was only evident in their sweat-stained shirts, but not their birdie-filled scorecards.
Behind Kirk sits a group of four players at 17 under, which includes George McNeill, Peter Lonard, PGA TOUR rookie Sunghoon Kang and former Viking Classic winner D.J. Trahan.
"The golf course is very vulnerable and the greens are perfect," Trahan said. "It's playing soft so you can attack and the greens are in awesome shape. They are rolling great. Some guys are making a lot of putts tomorrow."
Another PGA TOUR rookie, Jim Renner, carded a 62, which was the low round on Saturday. It vaulted him nearly 40 spots on the leaderboard, a shot behind the group of players at 17 under.
Tomorrow's weather forecast for Annandale calls for scattered thunderstorms and a high of 85 degrees.
"Hopefully it is a somewhat decent day where everyone can go out and play and get it in," Renner said. "That remains to be seen."
PGA TOUR rookie Sunghoon Kang has played his first 14 holes 8-under par in Round 3 at the Viking Classic . Kang played Annandale's front nine in 31. He then eagled the 579-yard par-5 11th hole, and added a birdie on the 14th hole to take the lead.
D.J. Trahan, 16 under, and Tommy Gainey and Tom Pernice Jr., 15 under, are also making Saturday moves. Trahan and Gainey are 5 under on their rounds, while Pernice is 4 under.
DUBLIN, Ohio – D.J. Trahan has withdrawn from the Memorial Tournament prior to the start of the second round, citing illness.
Trahan, who opened with a 77, is the second player to withdraw on Friday. Bill Lunde also was not feeling well.
Shortly before his 11:50 a.m. ET tee time for the first round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, Kris Blanks was assessing the conditions.
"On Tuesday and Wednesday wind blew 20-30 from the south. Today 10-20 from the north. Totally different golf course," he tweeted.
There are plenty of players who seem to be adapting well to the new “look” of TPC Louisiana, though.
Six are currently tied for the lead at 3 under -- Charlie Wi, D.J. Trahan, David Toms, Joe Durant, Matt Bettencourt and D.J. Brigman. Wi and Trahan have logged the most holes at 14.
Toms, who grew up in Shreveport and played collegiately at LSU, would be an extremely popular champion. He won the Zurich Classic a decade ago when it was played at English Turn Golf Club.
Toms, who is looking for his first win since 2006, has played in 11 Zurich Classics. He's had three top-10s, most recently a tie for fifth in 2009.
By Stan Awtrey, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. -- The locals at The Heritage take every opportunity to embrace anyone with South Carolina roots. Whether they hail from Clemson or South Carolina, are a native or moved into the area, the fans unabashedly pull for their own.
This week the recipient of their favor may be D.J. Trahan. The Clemson graduate and Mount Pleasant, S.C., resident made a nice move up the leaderboard with a 67 on Friday and was tied two shots behind the leaders after the morning wave. He has two TOUR victories, but would rank a win at Harbour Town at the top of his list.
"It’s like the fifth major to me," Trahan said. "I don’t want to put it ahead of THE PLAYERS, but I grew up here. If I won this tournament, it would mean almost as much as winning a (major) championship."
Trahan hasn’t had much success at Harbour Town. In seven
appearances he’s missed the cut three times and his best
finish was a tie for 17th in 2008.
Trahan struggled early this season, but seemed to have a breakthrough when he tied for 12th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational last month. He didn’t qualify for the Masters and took last week off to work on his game to get ready for The Heritage. He spent time with his father Don "The Swing Surgeon" Trahan, a PGA teaching professional, who has worked with his son since he was old enough to swing a club.
"I’ve been furious with myself for the way I played," Trahan said. "I worked hard on my game. I think I got a little lackadaisical and nonchalant and it certainly showed. But you can’t really complain out here. You have to keep it between the ropes and keep it in between the pine trees."
Trahan said he needed to work on his ball striking, which has historically been the best part of his game. He experimented with a belly putter for about a month and is currently using a longer putter. "I need to make more putts, plain and simple," he said. "I’m not going to put any pressure on it. I’m hitting the ball great. I’m going to keep trying to make putts and hopefully some more will go in."
D.J. TRAHAN'S SCORECARD: