Honda Basic: Aaron Smart goes from six forward to a few behind Matt Jones on day three

PGA Nationwide and the Bear Lure fought again on day three as Aaron Smart went from six forward to a few behind Matt Jones, whereas Shane Lowry dropped 5 photographs during the last eight holes to slide seven off the tempo

Final Up to date: 21/03/21 12:23am


The highs and lows of a tricky third spherical at PGA Nationwide, the place Matt Jones got here from six behind to steer Aaron Smart by three photographs by the top of the day.

The highs and lows of a tricky third spherical at PGA Nationwide, the place Matt Jones got here from six behind to steer Aaron Smart by three photographs by the top of the day.

Aaron Smart endured a day to neglect as Matt Jones claimed a three-shot lead after the third spherical of the Honda Basic at PGA Nationwide.

Smart doubled his in a single day three-shot benefit when he birdied two of the primary 4 holes, however strengthening winds made for brutal scoring situations for the later starters over the Champion Course, and Jones was the one participant among the many final six pairings to interrupt par on day three.

A one-under 69 was a commendable effort from Jones, who leads on 10 beneath par with Smart stumbling to a 75 to finish a tricky Saturday tied for second with JB Holmes, who had earlier jumped 14 locations up the leaderboard when he accomplished a 67.

Shane Lowry battled onerous to be one beneath for the day, and eight beneath for the match after 10 holes, however he would drop 5 photographs coming in to slide seven photographs off the tempo.

Shane Lowry bogeyed five of the last eight holes

Shane Lowry bogeyed 5 of the final eight holes

Jones was a full six photographs behind Smart when the Australian dropped photographs on the fourth and sixth, however he dug deep and balanced the books with birdies at 11 and 14 earlier than producing some clutch par saves down the stretch to stay at 10 beneath as his closest rivals all headed in the wrong way.

“It was very windy,” mentioned Jones, whose solely PGA Tour win was nearly seven years in the past, when he beat Matt Kuchar in a playoff on the Shell Houston Open, though he has additionally received his house Australian Open twice in related situations. “It was powerful from the get-go on the market and I used to be comfortable to shoot one beneath.

“Taking part in it in these Australian Opens the place I received two, it was additionally windy there, so I am fairly snug within the wind. Rising up in Australia, we’re used to the wind and hopefully we will simply hold managing the sport.

Matt Jones fired a 69 to claim a three-shot lead

Matt Jones fired a 69 to say a three-shot lead

“We have an extended approach to go, and there are a variety of holes out right here that may get you, but when I hold managing my recreation, hopefully I am going to have an opportunity coming down the final 9.”

Smart’s early type gave little indication of what was to comply with, rolling in birdie putts from 15-foot vary on the second and fourth, however his problem started to unravel on the sixth as he missed a 12-footer for par and in addition the return, three-putting for a double-bogey six to undo his flying begin.

Being placed on the clock for sluggish play clearly unsettled the 24-year-old, who additionally bogeyed the seventh and missed one other brief putt for par on the tenth earlier than letting slip three additional photographs during the last 4 holes, together with a six on the final when he pulled his drive approach left and into the hazard.

Wise crashed to a 75 in tough conditions

Smart crashed to a 75 in powerful situations

“It was a tough day,” mentioned Smart afterwards. “It began off stable, I used to be two beneath by means of a number of holes and it was simply taking part in actually, actually onerous. The forecast was for 10 to 15mph and it was much more than that.

“So I truthfully felt like I performed effectively, the one factor I did not do effectively was handle the wind. I felt like all day I had putts that have been breaking a technique, however the wind was fully the opposite approach and I could not fairly determine how a lot the wind was affecting them.

“After which I felt like I hit it nice with my irons and simply not so good off the tee. I used to be taking part in from out of place quite a bit, so it added as much as an enormous quantity, however fortunately with how I performed these first two days I am nonetheless in it and nonetheless have an opportunity tomorrow.”

Holmes was watching the late drama unfold from the sanctuary of the clubhouse having signed for his five-birdie 67, whereas CT Pan took benefit of the friendlier early situations to fireplace a bogey-free 65 and race to 6 beneath, enhancing his place on the leaderboard by a mere 38 locations.

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Pan shares fourth with Cameron Tringale and Sam Ryder, whereas a trio of main champions in Keegan Bradley (67), Zach Johnson (70) and Stewart Cink (70) are all inside the highest 10 on 5 beneath par.

However Lowry should come from seven behind if he’s to say his first win since The Open at Royal Portrush, following a poor closing stretch which began when he discovered water on the eleventh.

His 5 bogeys in eight holes included two misses from 4 toes, together with on the ultimate inexperienced as he trudged off to signal for a disappointing 74 – three beneath for the match.

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