(Reuters) – Leaders Martin Laird and Patrick Cantlay shot matching six-under-par 65s while Matthew Wolff fired three back-nine eagles for a 10-under 61 at the third round of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas on Saturday.
Overnight co-leader Laird was sensational off the tee, hitting all 14 fairways and nearly taking the lead with a birdie putt on 18 that found a piece of the cup but refused to drop, much to the Scot’s disbelief.
The 37-year-old former champion sits 20-under par 193 for the tournament as he looks to claim his first PGA Tour title since 2013.
Laird’s playing partner Cantlay shot a bogey-free round that included six birdies as the 2017 champion eyes his third win on the PGA Tour.
The American said he expects the low scoring at TPC Summerlin to continue on Sunday.
“I’m sure by the time I get to the golf course the lead will already be more than 20-under,” he said. “There’s going to be a lot of birdies tomorrow.”
The low round of the day, however, belonged to Wolff, who needed a birdie-birdie finish to card a 59.
Despite putts that came close, the 21-year-old U.S. Open runner-up had to settle for par on both holes. Only 12 players have shot sub-60 rounds in PGA Tour history.
The shot that got Wolff’s game going came on the par-four 11th when his 115-yard second shot from the fairway bounced past the flagstick only to spin backwards and into the hole for his first eagle.
Wolff remained frozen in his follow-through position after the ball disappeared into the cup before shaking his head and smiling.
“You never expect to hole-out, but when it happens, it puts you in a really good mindset,” said Wolff, who went out in the morning wave and headed to the clubhouse in the lead.
“I was a little frustrated on the front nine … then those three eagles propelled me to the top.”
Wolff is tied for third with fellow Americans Wyndham Clark, Brian Harman and Austin Cook, who all sit 18-under 195 and two strokes off the lead heading into Sunday’s finale.
(Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles; Editing by Toby Davis; Editing by William Mallard)