Thanks to a third-round 66, Gary Woodland will take a one-shot lead over Pat Perez into the final round of the OHL Classic at Mayakoba. Here’s where things stand through 54 holes in Playa del Carmen, Mexico:
What it means: Woodland, 32, is in search of his third PGA Tour win and first since the 2013 Reno-Tahoe Open. In the interim, the big hitter has racked up five runner-ups, including, most notably, a finals loss to Rory McIlroy at the 2015 WGC-Match Play. Playing with his first 36-hole lead, Woodland got off to a terrific start Saturday, making a birdie on every other of his first 13 holes to start 7 under. A misclub at the par-3 15th found the hazard over the green and led to a double bogey but three closing pars got him into the clubhouse with a one-shot advantage. He’ll be chased on Sunday by Perez, the fiery veteran who picked up his lone win in 378 career starts at the 2009 Bob Hope. Two back, Piercy will look to add his fourth win of the last seven seasons.
Round of the day: Perez moved into position for his second Tour title with the round of the week, a 9-under 62 complete with eight birdies, an eagle and a bogey. A key to his success, Perez is third in the field this week in putts per green in regulation.
Best of the rest: Reavie jumped up 26 spots into a tie for fifth at 13 under with an 8-under 63. Reavie did all his damage in the first 13 holes with birdies and an eagle before closing with five straight pars.
Biggest disappointments: Tied for fourth and three shots back to start the day, Mexico’s Abraham Ancer dropped to a tie for 48th after a third-round 74. Separately, Simpson, the 2012 U.S. Open winner who, like Woodland, has been winless since 2013, failed to keep pace in Round 3, dropping from one to four shots back with a 2-under 69.
Shot of the day: After reaching 20 under through 13 holes, Woodland needed a lengthy par putt at the 17th hole just to maintain his lead following the aforementioned double at 15. The putt dropped and Woodland will enter the final round one clear of the field.
Quote of the day: “I played beautifully all day. … I’m excited about where I’m at and I’m excited about tomorrow.” – Woodland