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April 28 2012

8:56 PM

Grip change spurs Palmer to record

Palmer interview after Round 3

Ryan Palmer talks about his play in the 2012 Zurich Classic with John Maginnes from SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio.

By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM

AVONDALE, La. -- Sometimes it's the little things that make a big difference.

In Ryan Palmer's case, a new putter grip has given him renewed confidence and it showed on Saturday as he made nine birdies en route to a 64 that tied the course record at TPC Louisiana. More importantly, Palmer now finds himself among the leaders at 13 under entering Sunday's final round.

Palmer was the third person this week to shoot 8 under and the sixth person to have a share of the course record. He had a shot at owning it alone, but Palmer put his second shot at the par-5 18th into a greenside bunker where what he called a "bad rake job" proved costly as he left it in the bunker and made par.

Still, he couldn't be too disappointed. "It's one of those deals you get a bad break here and there, made par and it was fine," Palmer said.

Besides, the Texan was thrilled with the way his putting came around on Saturday after he switched to a Super Stroke Red grip. He's been consistently solid tee-to-green but his putting was the key to the third round. He used just 24 in the third round after needing 30 and 29 in the two previous days.

"It was awesome," Palmer said. "I knew it was coming. I've been hitting the ball so good lately, just haven't been making the putts. Did some work Tuesday ... for quite awhile, switched to the smallest grip. It's helped. The last few days trying to get comfortable with it and today the flood gates opened up."

Palmer said the new grip on his Odyssey putter causes him to stick his hands out a little more. "I'm a forward press kind of putter and I took it out, forward press out," he said. "I'm seeing the ball roll a lot more smooth, lot more truer. So, finally get to the middle of the hole."

When he teed off on Saturday Palmer told his caddy he was hoping to get with three or four shots at the end of the day. Turns out, he did considerably better.

"I don't think I need a course record-style round (on Sunday)," Palmer said. "My idea going into today, I need to get to 18 total for the next two days and I might have a chance. So, I might be three, four back but today is obviously moving today for a lot of guys. Tomorrow it gets a little more tense.
   
"I'm not going to put a number. ... It's probably going to take 18 to get there 5, 6-under, see what happens."

Palmer played with Sean Peyton in Wednesday’s pro-am and the embattled New Orleans Saints coach was in his buddy’s gallery on Friday. Palmer said he expected some words of wisdom prior to the final round.

"We've become good friends the last few years," palmer said. "Played together last year. He treated a couple of us to Green Bay last year, sideline and everything. ... Maybe (I'll) get him back here to watch tomorrow."

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