After a third-round 65, Ben An will take a one-shot lead over Martin Laird into the final round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Here’s where things stand through 54 holes at TPC Scottsdale:
Leaderboard: An (-16), Laird (-15), John Peterson (-12), Graham DeLaet (-12), Michael Kim (-12), Hideki Matsuyama (-12), Marc Leishman (-11), William McGirt (-11), J.J. Spaun (-11), Matt Kuchar (-11), Brendan Steele (-11)
What it means: An in 2009 became the youngest U.S. Amateur champion in history at the age of 17. He reasserted himself as a professional when he won the European Tour’s flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship, in May 2015. The 47th-ranked player in the world nearly picked up his first PGA Tour title when he lost in a playoff at the Zurich last year, and he’ll have another chance Sunday. Standing in his way, Laird is a three-time Tour winner who last tasted victory at the 2013 Zurich Classic, while a loaded chase pack will start another three shots back.
Round of the day: Peterson jumped up 25 spots into a tie for third with a Saturday 63. He made eight birdies and an eagle, dropping his only shots at the par-4 sixth, where he made double bogey. The former NCAA individual champion said earlier this week that he has "severely underachieved" since leaving LSU in 2011, but now finds himself in position for his best finish as a pro.
Best of the rest: A whopping 11 players – An, Laird, DeLaet, Leishman, Phil Mickelson, Webb Simpson, John Rahm, Camilo Villegas, Lucas Glover, Troy Merritt and Billy Horschel – carded 6-under 65. Mickelson, a three-time Phoenix Open winner, will start Sunday six back, at 10 under.
Biggest disappointment: Steele and Matsuyama both made bogey when they pulled their drives into the water at the driveable par-4 17th. Steele was tied for the lead through 36 holes, and Matsuyama was one behind. Now they'll both enter the final round four back, at 12 under par.
Shot of the day: Matsuyama nearly sent the crowd into hysterics when he almost aced the par-3 16th, his tee shot from 129 yards coming to rest 16 inches from the hole. Matsuyama appeared poised to make a late charge with back-to-back birdies at 15 and 16 but his momentum was slowed by his trip into the water at 17.