Aaron Wise joins Marc Leishman at 17-under-196
Marc Leishman led the field all alone on Friday at the prestigious AT&T Byron Nelson but all of that changed when the PGA Tour rookie Aaron Wise fired six birdies and three-bogeys for a 3-under-68 to join Leishman for the lead on Saturday.
They both now have a commanding lead of four-shots over Matt Jones and Kevin Na, going into the final round.
Well if you’re thinking that this is rookie’s first time on top of the leaderboard, you’re wrong for sure. He finished T-2, just two weeks and shots back from the winner Jason Day at the Wells Fargo Championship.
“There’s a little more pressure on it because there are more people and it’s a bigger scene, but I felt like I did a great job of handling all that at Quail Hollow,” Wise said. “Being my second chance at it, I feel like it’s only going to be better than that.”
Leishman shot 69 after setting a 36-hole tournament record previously shared by Tiger Woods. The 34-year-old Australian had a career-best 61 in the opening round.
Wise fired a 402-yard long drive on the downwind par-4 ninth, all he was left to do was flip a wedge on the 504-yard hole, and make an 11-foot putt for birdie.
Spieth playing at one of his home course was looking forward to taking some advantage but rather admits to not being able to read the greens properly.
The 24-year-old had three birdies and three bogeys and is in danger of going another year without surpassing his best Nelson finish — a tie for 16th when he was a 16-year-old high school junior in 2010.
“I finish 16th tomorrow and people are going to say, ‘What’s wrong?'” said Spieth, a three-time major winner. “It’s funny how expectations change. But certainly my own do as well.”
Spieth now stands T-29th with Geoff Ogilvy, Nick Taylor, Denny McCarthy, Maverick McNealy, Hideki Matsuyama, Johnson Wagner, Billy Horschel, Robert Garrigus, Russell Knox, Tyler Duncan, Cody Gribble, and Zac Blair at 7-under-206.
Anirban Lahiri in the mix
Anirban Lahiri shot 68 and 67 in his first two rounds to make the cut for the weekends after missing them twice consecutively at the Wells Fargo and THE PLAYERS Championship. Lahiri is now T-42 after a third round 72, a drop of 22 spots from his Friday’s finish with Matt Atkins and Abraham Ancer at 6-under-207.