Smith settles for 60 to tie Rahm

JERSEY CITY, NJ – Jon Rahm and Cameron Smith were tied for the lead on Saturday in The Northern Trust, and neither could have imagined how they got there.

Smith had never shot better than 62 – twice this year on the PGA Tour, once at his home club in Brisbane, Australia – when he stood over a 12-foot putt on the 18th hole at Liberty National for a 13th under-60 round chance on the PGA Tour.

He missed and had to settle for the course record at 11 under 60, and figured that would at least keep him within reach of the world No.1 player.

“Jon is playing pretty well [golf] by the minute so we have to try to catch up, ”said Smith.

Thanks to Rahm, he did it.

The US Open champion birdied four in a six-hole streak around the turn to regain the lead and had a good chance of scoring ahead of him. But he hit the water twice on the easiest second and third holes, dropped three combined hits and had to rally for a 67.

They were under 197 and now have a day off from Hurricane Henri. The PGA Tour watched the path, and there was enough rain and dangerous wind around the edges of the storm that they decided to shut down Liberty National today. The last round will take place on Monday.

With even the possibility of more rain and more golf, Rahm wanted the 54-hole lead. At worst, he was determined not to fall behind.

“I didn’t want to leave it to chance,” he said.

Rahm didn’t find too much of a problem with his game. He thought his 4 iron in the 13th par-5 was flush and started to move forward, waiting for the ball to hit the green. He noticed that his cart was not moving.

“It was a bit higher than I expected and it looks like the wind may have picked up a bit,” said Rahm. “It sounded like that short cover film, so it’s one of those things that happens in golf.”

He received a penalty, fired his next shot through the thick grass of an embankment and made a double bogey.

Rahm was just to the left of the accessible 16th par-4 in what he thought was a sweet lie. The idea was to give yourself a chance at the birdie and make the par at worst. But he came out hot, rolled over the green and into the water, which led to a bogey.

Rahm and Smith were one step ahead of Erik van Rooyen of South Africa, who birdied 10 for a 62, one of four laps at 62 or less.

Justin Thomas (67) and Tony Finau (68) were three strokes behind. Shane Lowry and Corey Conners each shot 62 and stayed in the mix.

The average score in the third round was 68.3

Smith started about three hours before the leaders and started with five birdies over six holes, one of many good starts. He landed his eighth birdie on the 13th, approached one foot of a hole-in-one on the 14th and started to think 59.

Smith narrowly missed an eagle putt on the 16th, hit a steep corner on the 17th to reach 11 under for the round and was birdie of the 13th round under-60 of the PGA Tour. His approach to the 18th settled 12 feet to the right of the flag.

“I just didn’t do it,” Smith said.

Rahm made a superb par save over the 14th green, then hit it up close for a short birdie on the 15th to regain some of the lead. And after his bogey on the 16th, he responded with another birdie on the 17th hole.

And now a day of rest. This is not the worst-case scenario for Smith, knowing that it is difficult to come back the next day from a record-breaking score and try to match it. Not the worst for those staying across the Hudson River in Manhattan.

“There are the worst cities to be stuck in,” Lowry said. “I’m sure I’ll find something to do.

Additionally, Rahm speaks from an experience of having limited activity with nowhere to go.

“If the covid quarantine has taught us anything, it’s what to do all day locked in a room,” he said.

Jon Rahm of Spain watches his shot from the 13th tee in the third round of the Northern Trust Golf Tournament, Saturday August 21, 2021, at Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, NJ (AP Photo / John Minchillo)

Jon Rahm of Spain admits cheering onlookers after birding on the 11th green in the third round of the Northern Trust Golf Tournament on Saturday August 21, 2021 at Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, NJ (AP Photo / John Minchillo)

Jon Rahm of Spain admits cheering onlookers after birding on the 11th green in the third round of the Northern Trust Golf Tournament on Saturday August 21, 2021 at Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, NJ (AP Photo / John Minchillo)

Jon Rahm of Spain reacts after missing a birdie putt on the 12th green in the third round of the Northern Trust Golf Tournament, Saturday August 21, 2021, at the Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, NJ (AP Photo / John Minchillo)

Jon Rahm of Spain reacts after missing a birdie putt on the 12th green in the third round of the Northern Trust Golf Tournament, Saturday August 21, 2021, at the Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, NJ (AP Photo / John Minchillo )

Jon Rahm of Spain hits the rough on the 13th green among spectators in the third round of the Northern Trust Golf Tournament, Saturday August 21, 2021, at the Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, NJ (AP Photo / John Minchillo)

Jon Rahm of Spain hits the rough on the 13th green among spectators in the third round of the Northern Trust Golf Tournament, Saturday August 21, 2021, at the Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, NJ (AP Photo / John Minchillo)

Jon Rahm of Spain reads the 14th green as the Manhattan skyline looms in the distance in the third round of the Northern Trust Golf Tournament, Saturday August 21, 2021, at Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, NJ (AP Photo / John Minchillo)

Jon Rahm of Spain reads the 14th green as the Manhattan skyline looms in the distance in the third round of the Northern Trust Golf Tournament, Saturday August 21, 2021, at Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, NJ (AP Photo / John Minchillo)

Erik Van Rooyen of South Africa putt on the 14th green in the first round of the Northern Trust Golf Tournament, Thursday August 19, 2021, at Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, NJ (AP Photo / John Minchillo)

Erik Van Rooyen of South Africa putt on the 14th green in the first round of the Northern Trust Golf Tournament, Thursday August 19, 2021, at Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, NJ (AP Photo / John Minchillo)

Justin Thomas lines up a putt before sinking a birdie on the 10th green in the third round of the Northern Trust Golf Tournament, Saturday August 21, 2021, at Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, NJ (AP Photo / John Minchillo)

Justin Thomas lines up a putt before sinking a birdie on the 10th green in the third round of the Northern Trust Golf Tournament, Saturday August 21, 2021, at Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, NJ (AP Photo / John Minchillo)

Justin Thomas reacts after birding on the 10th green in the third round of the Northern Trust golf tournament on Saturday, August 21, 2021, at the Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, NJ (AP Photo / John Minchillo)

Justin Thomas reacts after birding on the 10th green in the third round of the Northern Trust golf tournament on Saturday, August 21, 2021, at the Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, NJ (AP Photo / John Minchillo)

Shane Lowry of Ireland watches his shot from the fourth tee in the second round of the Northern Trust Golf Tournament on Friday August 20, 2021 at Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, NJ (AP Photo / John Minchillo)

Shane Lowry of Ireland watches his shot from the fourth tee in the second round of the Northern Trust Golf Tournament on Friday August 20, 2021 at Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, NJ (AP Photo / John Minchillo)

Shane Lowry of Ireland putt on the third green in the second round of the Northern Trust Golf Tournament on Friday August 20, 2021 at Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, NJ (AP Photo / John Minchillo)

Shane Lowry of Ireland putt on the third green in the second round of the Northern Trust Golf Tournament on Friday August 20, 2021 at Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, NJ (AP Photo / John Minchillo)

Source link

About Dorie Castro

Check Also

Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh, 2021 T20 World Cup Live Stream: When & Where To Watch On TV & Online

Sri Lanka kick off their T20 World Cup Super 12 campaign against Bangladesh on Sunday. …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *