By Fred Albers, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
Colt Knost's hard work is paying
off. He's 12 under and tied for 6th in Las Vegas.
LAS VEGAS --
None of the trio atop the leaderboard ranks inside the top 20 in
driving statistics this week. All three however, do rank highly in
strokes gained - putting. Jonas Blixt leads the field in that
statistic. Ryan Moore is second. Brendon de Jonge is 11th. None of
these three is a one-week wonder. All have enjoyed solid putting
seasons. Blixt has been most consistent, ranking 11th in strokes
gained - putting this year. He also leads in fewest putts with
rounds of 26-26-25 this week.
Jonas Blixt, Brendon de Jonge and Ryan
Moore will be very good friends by Sunday night. They will play the
entire weekend together as Saturday’s final grouping will be
reprised on Sunday. It’s very rare for the final group to be
a threesome and all three golfers play well enough to retain their
position. All three players seemed to feed off the other’s
momentum. Blixt had five birdies in his last six holes. De Jonge
had five birdies offset by a single bogey and Moore had a clean
card with six birdies.
John Daly had a tough afternoon. A very
frustrating day of golf. Daly parred the first hole and made double
at the second. He then drove into the hazard to the left of the
third green. Daly walked down into the desert wash and attempted to
play out of the arroyo. Ten minutes later he walked to the fourth
tee with an eight on his card. After the quadruple bogey,
Daly’s round spiraled to an 86. He shot 44 on the front nine
and carded a pair of doubles on the inward nine while shooting 42.
Daly has been bothered with elbow problems this year and received a
cortisone shot last week. While in the hazard at the third hole,
Daly made contact with a rock that sent pain through the joint. To
his credit, he finished the round and signed the card.
Justin Leonard’s approach from
136 yards at the 11th hole was all over the stick. In fact, it hit
the pennant atop the flagstick. In most instances that will cause
the ball to ricochet off the green but Leonard’s ball wrapped
up in the flag and then dropped into the cup for a hole out eagle.
Colt Knost has not played since The
Barclays and used the five weeks to work on his swing. Knost tried
to get a little steeper in his attack and worked on making a better
shoulder turn hoping to pick up distance. The results have been
quick to pay off. Knost is averaging 304.3 yards per drive and has
hit 41 of 53 greens this week.
With slightly cooler temperatures the
greens were firmer for Saturday’s round. Approach shots were
getting a big first bounce and some ran through the putting
surfaces that were so soft on Thursday and Friday. The course
averaged 70.4 strokes in the third round, almost a full shot higher
than in the first 36 holes.
Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio.
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