PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Winless in more than a year, Rickie Fowler finished strong Saturday for a 5-under 65 and built a four-shot lead going into the final round of the Honda Classic.
Fowler made two birdies over the last three holes at relatively benign PGA National as everyone else around him was making mistakes.
Fowler holed a 10-foot birdie putt on the 16th, got a potential break with a ruling behind the 17th green that allowed him to use a putter instead of a wedge, and then closed with a drive so bold and big that he had only a 7-iron into the par-5 18th that set up a two-putt birdie.
That put him at 13-under 197.
Fowler was four shots ahead of Tyrrell Hatton of England, playing his first PGA Tour event in Florida.
Hatton ran off three straight birdies to get within one of the lead until he went long on the 17th and made bogey, then left a wedge short of the 18th green and had to scramble for par and a 66.
Two-time major champion Martin Kaymer was in position to join him until he took bogey from the middle of the fairway on the 18th and wound up with a 68. That left him in a large group at 7-under 203 that included Emiliano Grillo, who finished his 65 just as the leaders were starting the third round.
Fowler hasn’t won since Abu Dhabi a year ago in January. His last PGA Tour victory was in September 2015 at the Deutsche Bank Championship. Protecting large leads is never easy, especially around a course like this. The forecast was for strong wind on Sunday, which could make it even tougher for everyone.
CHONBURI, Thailand (AP) — Amy Yang had a four-stroke lead in the LPGA Thailand at 17 under with five holes left when third-round play was suspended because of darkness.
The South Korean player, the 2015 champion, had 10 birdies and an eagle in 31 holes Saturday in the rain-delayed tournament on Siam Country Club’s Pattaya Old Course.
England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff and South Korea’s Sei Young Kim were 11 under, and Thai sisters Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn were in the group at 10 under — all still on the course.
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The Joburg Open was reduced to 54 holes after more rain left the course waterlogged and forced another suspension in play.
Many of the players hadn’t started the third round when thunder and lightning forced organizers to halt play early in the afternoon at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club.
England’s Paul Waring and South Africa’s Darren Fichardt shared the lead at 11 under, with Waring completing a 67 in his second round early Saturday.