BLIXT, SMITH PULL AWAY
Duo are four strokes ahead after flawless third round
JONAS Blixt and Cameron Smith produced a bogeyfree four-under par 68 on Saturday, stretching their lead to four strokes entering the final round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Sweden’s Blixt and Australia’s Smith have played 54 holes without a bogey at TPC Louisiana, where the format of two-man teams is a first on the US PGA Tour in 36 years.
“It doesn’t matter how many bogeys you make if you’re in the lead,” said Blixt, a two-time winner on the US tour.
“I’m very happy about the way we played.”
“Kudos to you,” Blixt said in turning to his partner, who is seeking a first PGA Tour title.
“You played some really good golf coming in — there were some really hard shots into the wind there.”
Saturday’s alternate shot format didn’t produce the sizzling scores seen in better ball play on Friday — when Blixt and Smith combined for a 62 to seize a onestroke lead.
Through 54 holes, they were four in front of two all-US duos: Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown, who posted a 67; and Charley Hoffman and Nick Watney, who carded a 69.
Former World No 1 Jordan Spieth and fellow Texan Ryan Palmer were a further stroke back after a 70 for 202.
Blixt and Smith started strong with birdies at the second and third.
They picked up two more strokes with birdies at 15 and 18 — where Blixt’s 123-yard third shot left Smith a tap-in.
Kisner and Brown opened with nine pars before coming alive on the back nine with six birdies and a bogey.
Hoffman and Watney made the last of their four birdies at 18, where Hoffman sank a five-foot putt as they bounced back from their lone bogey at 15 to grab a share of second.
“We hit some good shots to give ourselves chances,” Hoffman said. “In this format, even a good par can give you momentum, but it was nice to make a birdie on the last.
“To shoot 69 in these conditions, we’re certainly happy.” AFP
Haru Nomura fist bumps her caddie Jason McDede in the third round of the LPGA Texas Shootout on Saturday.
Jonas Blixt (right) congratulates teammate Cameron Smith after they birdied the 18th in the third round of the Zurich Classic on Saturday.