Leader Day gets feet wet at Wells Fargo

Sherman Parsons
May 6, 2018

Jason Day sputtered at the start and finally hit his stride for a 4-under 67 to build a two-shot lead going into the final round of the Wells Fargo Championship and a chance for his second victory this year. He remained atop the leaderboard until midday through the round. McIlroy had to settle for a 66.

It was a day of possibilities after two days of relatively defensive golf and Sunday could bring more of the same.

The sign, which hangs in a hallway that leads out of the club's bag room, sits under an oversized scorecard, written in flawless Calligraphy, that commemorates the 61 that Rory McIlroy shot here three years ago. With his bare feet in the stream and the ball on the bank well above his feet, he hit a full wedge to the back of the green for a two-putt par.

Day is bidding to win for a second time in 2018 after landing his 11th PGA Tour title at the Farmers Insurance Open at the end of January. Watney climbed five positions to eight under through 54 holes thanks to seven birdies, despite double-bogeying the 10th. His only blemish on the back nine came at the final hole. Tiger Woods and Uihlein both started their round at 2 over, and both found better fortune with the scoring conditions. Rory McIlroy shot 5-under 66 and Tiger Woods carded a 3-under 68. He was nine shots behind. Of course, ending with a three-putt bogey didn't help. There will be no cut, but only the top 70 and ties in the 144-woman field will win prize money.

The 42-year-old former world number one sank a 13-foot birdie putt on his closing hole, the par-4 ninth, to finish 36 holes on two-over 144 at Quail Hollow, last year's PGA Championship course.

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Malnati made two straight birdies and finished with a par that felt like a birdie.

Woods posted six birdies throughout his third round and was another to be undone on the final hole, ending with a bogey five as a result of a disappointing three-putt.

Uihlein is joined on 7-under alongside compatriots Bryson DeChambeau and Aaron Wise, as well as England's Paul Casey. He appeared primed to challenge the leaders with birdies on 14, 15 and 16, but a double bogey on the par-three 17th ended his momentum during his three-under showing. He too started the day at 2 over but he fired a 9 under 62 today. "My ball-striking's been fine, I just haven't made anything".

What made Saturday the most entertaining day was a course setup that led to more birdies and more movement on the leaderboard.

Adrift of overnight leader Peter Malnati by one shot at the halfway mark, Day's second successive 67 - which included five birdies and just one bogey - saw the 2015 US PGA Championship victor put himself in the box seat for his first title since January's Farmers Insurance Open.

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