Rahm pulls his team into tie for lead

Eight birdies in round caps long day in rain-marred event

Chicago Tribune (Sunday) - - HORSE RACING -

AVONDALE, La. — Jon Rahm and Ryan Palmer shared the lead with Scott Stallings and Trey Mul­li­nax as the Zurich Clas­sic fi­nally got back on sched­ule.

Rahm and Palmer played 30 holes Satur­day in the event de­layed by rain for more than seven hours Thurs­day, fin­ish­ing off a 7-un­der 65 in the al­ter­nate-shot sec­ond round and shoot­ing 64 in best-ball play in the third.

“It’s been 4:30 four nights in a row,” Palmer said. “Din­ners at 9 and back up at 4:30. Took its toll on me. Just feed­ing me sugar and food try­ing to keep my en­ergy up. To­mor­row we’ll be on a lot of rest. If we’re on to­mor­row in al­ter­nate shot, we’re go­ing to be hard to beat.”

Rahm car­ried the team in the third round, with the Spa­niard mak­ing eight birdies.

“He’s just fun to be around,” Palmer said. “He’s ac­tu­ally a great guy. I’ve en­joyed every sec­ond with him. When you’re up close and per­sonal and watch­ing it and see the shots he can hit around the green, you know, his short game is phe­nom­e­nal. You can learn some­thing from that, too, so I learned a lot. Honor to be a part of it.”

Palmer saved bo­gey with an 8-footer on the par-3 17th af­ter both play­ers hit into the wa­ter, and Rahm made a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th to match Stallings and Mul­li­nax at 23-un­der 193.

“That putt Ryan made was prob­a­bly the most im­por­tant shot we made so far in the tour­na­ment,” Rahm said. “Felt like a birdie, and then to keep tied for the lead, very im­por­tant.”

Stallings and Mul­li­nax played 27 holes, shoot­ing 70-62.

“We play a lot of prac­tice rounds to­gether,” Stallings said. “We’ve known each other for a few years. Just kind of we played so much to­gether it just kind of made sense. We know each other’s games pretty well.”

Mul­li­nax looked ahead to the fi­nal round.

“I re­ally en­joy al­ter­nate shot,” Mul­li­nax said. “Scott hits the ball great. Hit­ting it nice. We’re both putting well. I don’t feel like there is much pres­sure on us. Just go out and do our thing.”

Bran­dan Grace and Justin Harding were a stroke back. The South Africans played 32 holes, shoot­ing 68-61.

“I think we played 50 odd holes,” Harding joked. “We cer­tainly moved up the board. It’s just a mat­ter of con­tin­u­ing the mo­men­tum through­out the rounds.”

Peter Mal­nati and Billy Hur­ley III were 20 un­der. They shot 66 af­ter fin­ish­ing the sec­ond round Fri­day.

Ser­gio Gar­cia and Tommy Fleet­wood were an­other stroke back tied with five other teams.

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