SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – The star power may have taken a hit this weekend at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, but there is still plenty on the line for the remaining players. Here’s what You Oughta Know heading into the final round at TPC Scottsdale, where Martin Laird leads:
• Laird holds a three-shot advantage over Brooks Koepka and Hideki Matsuyama. A victory would be Laird’s fourth on the PGA Tour, and first since the 2013 Valero Texas Open.
• This is Laird’s fourth career 54-hole lead, but only one of the previous three ended in victory. He held on to win the 2011 Arnold Palmer Invitational, but Laird lost in a playoff at The Barclays in 2010 and finished T-2 at the 2010 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
• A native of Scotland, Laird would become just the fifth international winner at TPC Scottsdale. The list of non-American champions includes Sandy Lyle (1988), Vijay Singh (1995), Jesper Parnevik (1998) and Aaron Baddeley (2007).
• The chase pack has reason to hope, though: Only one of the last five winners at TPC Scottsdale held at least a share of the 54-hole lead (Mark Wilson, 2011).
• Matsuyama’s third-round 63 was the lowest score this week, and it put him in position to contend for a second PGA Tour win. The Japanese phenom captured the 2014 Memorial Tournament in a playoff over Kevin Na.
• This is the second straight year that Matsuyama has entered the final round three shots off the pace at TPC Scottsdale. Last year he finished T-4.
• Koepka is in search of his first PGA Tour win. He won in November at the Turkish Airlines Open on the European Tour, and each of his first two starts this season have been top-10 finishes (T-8 Frys.com Open, T-4 Shriners).
• Arizona State standout Jon Rahm is in a tie for fifth after a third-round 66. Should Rahm rally to win, he would be the first amateur to win on the PGA Tour since fellow Sun Devil Phil Mickelson won the 1991 Northern Telecom Open in nearby Tucson.