Thanks to a 9-under 62 Saturday, Ben Martin holds a two-shot lead over Russell Knox heading into the final round of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Here’s what you may have missed on Moving Day in Las Vegas:
What it means: Martin is in search of his first PGA Tour victory. In 54 career starts, he has only three top 10s, but the 27-year-old did finish third three times last season at the Puerto Rico Open, RBC Heritage and Quicken Loans National. Knox is also in search of his first victory after a narrow miss last year at the Honda Classic, when he finished in a tie for second with Ryan Palmer and Rory McIlroy, falling short in a four-way playoff to another Russell - Henley.
Rounds of the day: Martin, Walker and Jim Herman fired matching 62s to post the rounds of the day and the tournament. Between the three of them: 26 birdies, one eagle and one bogey.
Best of the rest: Knox didn't go quite as low. In fact, at TPC Summerlin, where the scoring average in Round 3 hovered around 68, a bogey-free 66 seems somewhat workman-like. Still, it was enough to keep him in the hunt and not fall back, like his overnight co-leader.
Biggest disappointment: Speaking of which, that co-leader, Andrew Putnam, couldn’t keep pace during Saturday’s birdie-fest with a 2-over 73. Actually, Putnam was the only player inside the top 34 who did not finish under par in Round 3, an ignoble distinction.
Storylines to watch heading into Sunday: The fall portion of the wrap-around season continues to provide a unique opportunity for lesser-known names. If Martin can cash in for his first Tour win, the first-place prize of $1.08 million would leave him just $400K short of his total earnings in 26 events last season. Knox wouldn't be far off, with a differential of $430K. Separately, if he can rally from five back, Simpson can become the first player to repeat as champion at the Shriners since Jim Furyk in 1998 and '99.