Kevin Chappell fired a tournament course record 62 to surge within one shot of the lead on Saturday, going into the final round of The Barclay's, the opening tournament in the season ending FedEx Cup series. He trails both second round leader Matt Kuchar (70) and Gary Woodland (68), who are tied at -12 entering Sunday.
On a very windy day at Liberty National Golf Club, with its spectacular Manhattan skyline views, one would have thought that it would be difficult for the course tournament record to be broken for the third consecutive day.
"If you would have told me someone was going to shoot 62 today, I would probably have laughed at you," said Chappell, who started the third round in a tie for 43rd. "It was exactly what I needed to get back in the tournament. I'm excited that I was able to get the ball rolling in the right direction for a change.
Chappell has never won on the PGA Tour, and a win here would vault him all the way to a projected ninth place or higher in the FedEx Cup point race, with its life altering $10 million prize at stake.
Kuchar had a pedestrian up and down round, but managed to rally after falling three shots behind Woodland to get into the final group leading into Sunday.
Woodland is surging just at the right time of year. He hadn't had a top ten finish all year until he won earlier this month at the Reno Tahoe Open, and his third consecutive round in the sixties has him in the final group for what would be a signature win. With most of the World's Top 50 in the field, he'd surely like to stare them down and vault his FedEx Cup points ranking into the top five with a victory.
And then there's Tiger Woods. Woods finished his second round in the morning with a birdie late to move him into position for a run. But he staggered on his front nine of the third round with three bogies. As his back again appeared to be bothering him again, he then rallied with a birdie on the par five eighth hole, followed by three birdies on the back nine for a 69. He stands only four shots back, tied with David Lynn at -8. It's a pretty good position because there's only three competitors to chase down despite the gap. Don't be surprised if he's putting pressure on the leaders this afternoon.
Bubba Watson, Jim Furyk, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose, and 20 year old wonder kind Jordan Spieth are all another stroke back at -7, and any one of them could challenge with a low round today.
Webb Simpson, who was only one stroke back after the second round, struggled to a 74. But he still could mount a challenge along with Rory Mcllroy, Sergio Garcia, and Adam Scott, who are all six shots back at -6.
Whoever brings home the trophy will vault into serious FedEx Cup Contention going into the Deutsche Bank next week in Boston.
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