NORTON, Mass. – How will the top five players entering the final round of the Dell Technologies Championship handle the pressure of Monday’s Labor Day finish?
Tournament leader Abraham Ancer (13 under) will be drawing from the lessons learned earlier this year at the Quicken Loans National. He was the co-leader through 54 holes but failed to break par in the final round. A tough result but the experience could prove beneficial as he seeks his first PGA TOUR title.
“I'll probably go back today and just think about how I felt that day and what I could have done better,” Ancer said.
One shot behind Ancer is Tyrrell Hatton (12 under). He’s also seeking his first TOUR win, but the Englishman already has enjoyed success on the European Tour, having won three times. He shot a 2-under 69 on Sunday that included a double bogey at the long par-4 12th. He shook that off by playing the last six holes in a bogey-free 1 under.
That might seem unimportant on the surface, but it was a pretty significant stretch for Hatton.
“I feel like I took it well,” Hatton said. “In the past, maybe my head would have properly come off, which is always a battle with me. But I was pretty chilled out. I took it on the chin.”
Tied for second with Hatton is Bryson DeChambeau (12 under). He’s riding the momentum from last week’s win at THE NORTHERN TRUST that elevated him to the top of the FedExCup standings. But this finish sets up differently for him.
He entered the final round at Ridgewood with a four-shot lead and never wavered. This time he’s the chaser. Given his form – he shot the low round on Sunday, an 8-under 63 to move up 19 spots on the leaderboard – his confidence is extremely high.
“Like last week, if I go out there and execute the best that I can and make the right decisions out there … and make sure I miss it in the right places and attack flags that are attackable – I know it’s cliché to say all that stuff, but that’s honestly what it is,” DeChambeau said.
Cameron Smith (11 under) has won a TOUR event, but that was the team title he shared with Jonas Blixt at the 2017 Zurich Classic of New Orleans. He’s still winless in individual events, although he tied for third last week. He enters Monday with a share of fourth, two strokes back.
“My game feels really good,” said the Australian. “… Everything has fallen into shape.”
Rounding out the top five is the player with the most impressive credentials. Justin Rose (11 under) has a major, an Olympic gold medal and 20 worldwide wins. He was not happy with his 1-under 70 on Sunday – but that could be the very thing that propels him to a 10th win on the PGA TOUR.
“There will be a lot of pressure on those guys,” Rose said of the leaders. “It's hard to follow up a really low round with another one. I like being around the top-10. And I feel like the frustration that I feel for this round is going to lead to some motivation to tomorrow.”
Bryson DeChambeau's Round 3 highlights from Dell Technologies
Abraham Ancer was born in Texas but grew up in Reynosa, Mexico, and has dual citizenship. He’s seeking to become just the third Mexican to win a PGA TOUR event (Victor Regalado, Cesar Sanudo were the first two). “Obviously immigration-wise, it’s kind of nice having dual citizenship,” Ancer said. “It makes everything easier. All my friends know me, and they know I’m very Mexican.”
Justin Rose and his playing partner, fellow Englishman Tommy Fleetwood, fell off the pace midway through their rounds. Rose said it was costly, as he bogeyed the 11th and 12th holes to fall out of the lead. “We kind of got a little bit behind timewise and I felt like I was struggling really around the turn, and I don’t know if I was rushing a little bit,” he explained.
Two-time Dell Technologies champ Rory McIlroy moved into contention with a 5-under 66 that leaves him at 9 under. But he was disappointed not to be a stroke closer. Having made three birdies in his previous four holes, McIlroy had another birdie chance from 6 feet at the 18th. But he missed the putt and then smacked his putter. It’s only the second putt he’s missed this week in 47 putts from inside 7 feet.
Jordan Spieth joins McIlroy at 9 under thanks to a 68 that included five birdies in his first seven holes, then three bogeys over the next four-hole stretch. “I feel like I’ve been on the bad end of some breaks, divots and just stymied on some knobs around the green to where I don’t have much of a shot,” Spieth said. “If I hit a worse of a shot, I’d be better off. It’s like the weirdest things this week.”
Tiger Woods played his first seven holes in 3 under but then stalled after that to shoot 3-under 68. At 7 under, he’s six shots off the lead but with 15 players in front of him on the leaderboard. “Just got to go something low,” Woods said. “I don't know if it will be good enough to win, with the guys right now at 13. … Even if I shoot a low round, I'm not really in control of my destiny in that regard, because I'm pretty far back.”
Second-round leader Webb Simpson had a tough day, with four bogeys and a double at the 15th en route to a 5-over 76. Just two other players of the 77 who made the cut had higher scores on Sunday. Simpson is now at 6 under and tied for 25th.
Jordan Spieth’s 40-foot birdie putt at Dell Technologies
QUOTABLESThere were a couple of instances today that I could have lost it mentally but I didn’t. I regrouped and managed to bounce back.
I heard the crowd get louder and louder and louder, and I looked up and finally saw the ball peak over that hill. Oh, it’s like a foot. Sweet.I think most rounds of golf for me are roller-coasters, to be honest.
Low round: Bryson DeChambeau’s 8-under 63 that moved him to 12 under for the tournament.
Longest drive: Peter Uihlein’s 344-yard drive at the par-4 13th. Unfortunately, he found the rough near the cart path and ultimately bogeyed the hole.
Longest putt: Hideki Matsuyama’s birdie putt from 64 feet, 2 inches at the par-4 fifth. Matsuyama also made a 46-1/2 footer at the 16th; overall, he made 192 feet, 7 inches of putts on Sunday.
Hardest hole: The par-4 12th playing at 518 yards on Sunday. The field stroke average was 4.325, with just five birdies made against 24 bogeys and three doubles.
Easiest hole: The 531-yard par-5 18th played to a stroke average of 4.494. Eight eagles and 29 birdies were made against just six bogeys.
Bogey-free round: Kyle Stanley’s 66.
CALL OF THE DAY
For play-by-play coverage of the final round of the Dell Technologies Championship, listen at PGATOUR.COM.
SHOT OF THE DAY
Shot of the Day
Tyrrell Hatton's near eagle hole out for Shot of the Day