Love likes his chances of surging to win at 53
Davis Love III thinks his experience might give him an edge as he tries to become the PGA Tour’s oldest winner at age 53. First, he must surpass several others, including a rookie trying to become the first wire-to-wire winner in the Greenbrier Classic.
Sebastian Munoz shot a 2-under-par 68 on Saturday in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., to maintain a two-stroke lead over Robert Streb after the third round. The 24-year-old Colombian was at 14under 196 at Old White TPC. Streb shot a 65.
Love was tied with two others at 10 under after a 68, with four players ahead of him. The twotime Ryder Cup captain who will enter the World Golf Hall of Fame in September likes his chances Sunday.
“Under the pressure, I know how to handle things,” Love said. “I’ve seen some guys this week kind of go up and down and make some rookie mistakes, including myself. I’m going to make mistakes, too, but hopefully the experience will pay off.”
At No. 221 in the FedEx Cup standings, Love wants to make the season-ending playoffs and is among those trying to qualify for the British Open in two weeks. The leading four players not already exempt from the top 12 finishers will earn spots. Russell Henley is the only player in the top 10 who already has qualified.
Sam Snead won the last of his eight titles at Greensboro in 1965 at 52 years 10 months 8 days. Love will try to break the mark at the former playground of Snead, who was the longtime head pro and pro emeritus at the Greenbrier resort.
“I don’t think much about age,” Love said. “I think that I want to go out and compete. There’s a reason why I keep having surgery, coming back, doing the rehab and trying to play. There’s a lot to play for, not just for this week but for the rest of the season. I’m going to stay after it.”
Munoz welcomes the challenge, especially from Love.
“That would be awesome if he wins,” Munoz said. “He has to beat me and all the other guys. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.”
EUROPEAN TOUR: Jon Rahm shot a second straight 5under 67 at the Irish Open and moved into a share of the lead with Daniel Im in the third round in Portstewart, Northern Ireland.
On a day of good scoring over the links at Portstewart Golf Club, the 11th-ranked Rahm moved to 17 under par overall after making four consecutive birdies from No. 11 and parring his way home.
Im, who was tied for the lead with Benjamin Hebert after the first two rounds, birdied five of his opening 14 holes and scrambled superbly at the end to shoot a 68 and stay alongside Rahm. Hebert is a stroke behind after shooting 69.
Rahm, one of golf’s hottest talents, tied for 10th at the French Open last week in the Spaniard’s first appearance on the European Tour and looks in good shape to collect his second victory of 2017, after the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines on the PGA Tour in January.
Having turned professional only a little over a year ago, Rahm also finished third and second in his first two World Golf Championship events.
“I’ve never led going into the final round, so I am a little inexperienced in that sense,” said Rahm, who was persuaded to play the event by tournament host Rory McIlroy. “But I know what I did at Torrey Pines, both good and bad. Hopefully I won’t need two eagles in the last five holes again to win tomorrow.”
LPGA TOUR: Katherine Kirk shot a 7-under 65 to open a four-stroke lead in the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic and move into position to challenge the tour’s 72-hole record.
Coming off a career-best 63 on Friday, the 35-year-old Australian reached 20-under 196 in the first year event at Thornberry Creek, the Oneida Nation-owned resort in Oneida, Wis.
“I’ve been playing pretty well lately, trending at least in the right direction,” Kirk said. “I like this golf course. It suits my eye.”
The LPGA Tour record for 72 holes is 27 under, set by Annika Sorenstam in the 2001 Standard Register Ping in Phoenix and matched by Sei Young Kim last year in the Founders Cup, also in Phoenix.