On a day when a couple of multiple major champions looked like they were going to steal the show, it was a rookie seeking his first PGA Tour victory who pulled off a pretty nifty feat en route to the lead.
Shawn Stefani posted a 4-under 66 in Saturday’s third round that included eight birdies – and one really big number of another kind. Coming off birdies on Nos. 9 and 10, Stefani carded a quadruple-bogey 7 on the par-3 11th hole. He recovered to birdie four of the final five holes to grab a one-stroke lead, but still it was that quad that was the talk of the tournament.
“I actually hit a good shot, just pulled the wrong club with the wrong wind,” he explained afterward. “It just happens.”
“It’s tough to watch that,” added playing partner Harris English. “I don’t care who you are. I’m trying to obviously beat him, but it was tough to watch that.”
English will have an opportunity to watch more of Stefani in the final round, as the 18- and 36-hole leader remains just one back after a 1-under 69.
In a share of third place at 8 under is the trio of Patrick Reed, Nicholas Thompson and Scott Stallings, the last of whom has finished in a share of fourth place in each of his last two starts thanks to strong moves on Sunday afternoons.
Phil Mickelson produced a colorful scorecard, posting an eagle, six birdies and three bogeys in shooting 65 and climbing into a share of sixth place. Fellow major champion Padraig Harrington also shot 65 to move into a share of eighth place.
Defending champion Dustin Johnson eagled the 16th hole to shoot 68. He will enter the final round in a share of 11th place, seven shots behind Stefani.