By: Fred Albers, PGA TOUR.COM Correspondent
AVONDALE, La. -- Lucas Glover just about hit his scoring average on Saturday. He ranks 17th on TOUR with a third-round scoring average of 69.5 and shot 70 in the third round at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. It’s the final round that has to change for Glover. He is ranks 92nd with a 71.2 average on Sunday. Glover missed his first short putt of the tournament when he misfired at the 14th from inside three feet. He is 31-for-32 on putts of three feet or less this week and has made 50 of 54 putts inside ten feet.
Distance: Guan Tianlang’s lack of strength finally showed on Saturday. The teenager has been giving up about four clubs’ distance per hole but scrambled his way around the course until a 77 dropped him into 71st place. The 14th hole played 220 yards and Guan hit 3-wood into the green while most players hit 5 irons down wind. It would seem he is most effective on difficult layouts where par is a good number and Guan can scramble his way around the course. However, it is very hard to compete on the PGA TOUR when you are hitting 3-wood into greens. That being said, Guan’s play this week has been remarkable and I would expect his distance to increase as he matures.
GIR: The best way to make birdies is to give yourself lots of birdie opportunities. That’s what Billy Horschel has done. He hit 16 of 18 greens on Saturday and is 42-for-54 for the week. Horschel has not just hit greens; he has given himself makeable putts. The Floridian is averaging 29-feet, 3-inches on approaches. That’s fifth best in the tournament.
Bounce back: Ricky Barnes did not have a hard time distinguishing between his second and third rounds. He shot 76 on Friday when he did not make a single birdie and bounced back with a 66 on Saturday when he went bogey-free with a half dozen birdies. Barnes hit 14 greens in both rounds but said his setup and line were better in the third round. He has had dramatic splits on the greens this week. Barnes took 26 putts on Thursday and Saturday with 33 putts on Friday.
Nature: TPC Louisiana is a very natural golf course. At times it is too natural. Alligators have wandered into the fairways this week and on Saturday there was concern when a swarm of bees took up residence next to the 17th green. Nobody was injured and the swarm moved on but PGA TOUR official Mickey Bradley was once again in charge of animal security.
Boo: Boo Weekley missed just six fairways in the first two rounds combined but scattered his driver on Saturday going 6-for-14. From the very first drive, he seemed out of synch on the golf course. It was also reflected in his putting where he took rounds of 27 and 28 strokes in the first two rounds then tumbled to 32 putts on Saturday. Many putts were missed to the right with an open club face.
Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. For more information on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, click here.