Hojgaard, Stevens lead heading into wide open final round at Corales Puntacana Championship

By Sports Desk March 25, 2023

Nicolai Hojgaard and Sam Stevens are tied for the lead at 14 under after three rounds of the Corales Puntacana Championship, although it is wide open going into Sunday.

Only two players shot better than Hojgaard's six-under 66 on Saturday, and it came after a terrific 65 on Friday as the 22-year-old two-time European Tour winner looks to break through.

Stevens, 26, is also winless on the PGA Tour, and he blew an opportunity to head into the final round in the outright lead as he bogeyed the 18th.

There is a four-man chasing group on their tail at 13 under, with Americans Wyndham Clark and Tyler Duncan joined by Belgium's Thomas Detry and England's Matt Wallace.

Detry's seven-under 65 was tied for the round of the day with France's Martin Trainer, who used it to fly up into the top-10, now tied for seventh at 12 under.

The 2018 champion at this event Brice Garnett is alone in 10th at 10 under, and last year's runner-up Ben Martin is one further back at nine under.

Related items

  • Ireland’s Shane Lowry and England’s David Skinns share lead in Florida Ireland’s Shane Lowry and England’s David Skinns share lead in Florida

    Ireland’s Shane Lowry and England’s David Skinns both shot a five-under-par 66 to share the lead heading into the final round of the Cognizant Classic.

    American Austin Eckroat is alongside them on 13-under-par at the PGA National in Florida – three clear of the chasing pack.

    Former Open champion Lowry is looking for his third PGA Tour victory, while Skinns is yet to finish in the top 10 on the PGA Tour.

    Lowry said he enjoys the “tough golf” after rain and wind made conditions difficult.

    “I like when everything is on the line a lot out there,” Lowry said.

    “I feel like I just know how to play the golf course. I feel like I’ve figured it out.”

    Skinns hit five birdies without a blemish while Lowry mixed six birdies with a bogey.

    Among five players three shots off the pace are Scotland’s Martin Laird – who hit seven birdies in a third-round 66 – and Australian Min Woo Lee.

    Rory McIlroy, who started the day tied with Lowry and Skinns, dropped six shots off the pace with a 72.

  • Rory McIlroy three strokes off the pace in Florida Rory McIlroy three strokes off the pace in Florida

    Rory McIlroy carded a four-under-par 67 for the second successive day to finish three strokes off the pace following round two of the Cognizant Classic in Florida.

    Northern Irishman McIlroy is among eight players tied for sixth place, alongside Ireland’s Shane Lowry and England’s David Skinns, after hitting six birdies and two bogeys on Friday.

    McIlroy said that while he “didn’t get off to the greatest of starts”, he bounced back to finish strongly.

    “I think it is just one of those courses where you have just got to stay super patient, knowing that the scoring is good, but people aren’t going to get away from you here,” he said.

    “I think I did a good job of staying patient until the end and that patience was rewarded.”

    Lowry has also posted consecutive scores of 67, while world number 278 Skinns, who is without a top-10 finish on the PGA Tour, posted a two-under-par 69 following his opening-day 65.

    Bud Cauley leads the way on 11 under par, with fellow American Austin Eckroat and South Africa’s Garrick Higgo each one shot behind.

    The last time Cauley was in the top five after any round was at the 2020 PGA Championship.

    Belgium’s Thomas Detry is in last position – 11 over par – after he six-putted the 461-yard par-four sixth hole from 57 feet, despite knocking his first effort to eight feet.

    The 31-year-old finished with a quadruple bogey and the most putts on one hole on the PGA Tour in four years.

  • Rory McIlroy makes solid start on ‘benign’ opening day at PGA National Rory McIlroy makes solid start on ‘benign’ opening day at PGA National

    Rory McIlroy hit five birdies as he opened the Cognizant Classic in Florida with a four-under-par 67.

    A bogey on the 17th was the only blemish on McIlroy’s card as he finished three strokes off the pace on a day of favourable conditions at PGA National.

    American Chad Ramey and South Korea’s SH Kim shared the opening-day lead with seven-under-par 64s – one clear of a group which included England’s David Skinns.

    “It was so benign,” said McIlroy. “You’re not going to get this course much easier.”

    Skinns, the world number 278 and without a top-10 finish on the PGA Tour, had a putt on his last hole for a seventh birdie and a share of the lead.

    Ireland’s Shane Lowry was alongside McIlroy on four-under-par, part of a large group which also includes Sweden’s Alex Noren and France’s Victor Perez – the best placed of the final two groups who were unable to complete the final hole due to darkness.

    England’s Harry Hall and Ben Taylor, Scotland’s Martin Laird and Austrian Ryder Cup star Sepp Straka were among an even larger group on three-under-par, which included American Daniel Berger who has recently returned to the tour after a 19-month injury lay-off.

    Among those a short further back were Robert MacIntyre, who was among those yet to finish, and Justin Rose, whose 69 was highlighted by a par on the 13th after his tee shot came to rest against a mesh out of bounds fence.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.