After Tiger Woods turned in his worst performance on the PGA tour and ended up in dead last, along with Phil Mickelson also missing cut, what was there to look forward to in Phoenix besides the superbowl? Well, lots really, as many good golfers still remained in the hunt, and it’s the Phoenix Open, a tournament unlike any other PGA tournament. The always exiting 16th hole lived up to its reputation on day 3 as Francisco Molinari aced it for hte 9th hole in one in the tournaments history. That shot livened up the crowd, which does not require much to liven them up.
Martin Laird began the round as the leader, and at the end of the day Laird kept his lead after shooting a 68 to lead by three shots and -13 overall. Laird started off the round a little shaky on the front nine, but found his groove and turned things around to keep his lead. His putting really bailed him out of a couple of sticky situations which proved to allow him to overcome some bad holes that could have been much worse. The putting really allow Laird to escape the day with a less than stellar tee to green game.
Matsuyama finished a bogey-free round to jump into second place with Brooks Koepka and Zach Johnson. Matsuyama is a terrific young Japanese player, and his 64 helped to move him into contention for Sunday. Sitting in a T-5 place, is the amateur Jon Rahm, who is a collegiate player at ASU. He must have been extremely excited to play in the PGA tour event in his college town, and he has taken advantage of the opportunity by playing some great golf. His first round was a little shaky, but he ended it on a strong note before turning in a 68 and 66. Pretty impressive. It is amazing the amount of young talent the game of golf has at the moment.