Ryan Palmer – round of the week 64 to share the lead – photo courtesy of Getty Images / Gregory Shamus
Cameron Smith produced one of the better rounds of the day (66) during round three of the Sentry Tournament of Champions at the Kapalua Resort in Hawaii, but, although he improved his position by some 16 places on the leader-board, he finds himself the same number of shots (8) from the lead as was the case beginning his round.
Second round leader, Harris English, continued his remarkable play to lead into tomorrow’s final round but he has been joined by Texan, Ryan Palmer, at 21 under par, that pair one shot ahead of current PGA Champion, Collin Morikawa.
Harris English – photo Getty Images
Morikawa added a second consecutive 65 to move into contention after a relatively slow start on Thursday.
English holed an eight-foot par saving par putt at the last to retain his share of the lead with Palmer having recorded the round of the week to date (64) but he (Palmer) was forced to await a rules ruling before confirming his score.
Palmer’s actions at the par 4 9th hole, when he brushed aside a couple of divots as his chunked chip shot rolled back down the hill short of the green, could have been seen as a means of improving the lie for his next shot but he was found to have no intent in his actions and his round of 64 stood.
After his round Palmer explained his actions. “Well, when I walked in there, I saw Munch (PGA Tour official) with a book out, John Munch, and I was like, What’s this about? And I started going through my mind on the day. And then when he said, We have a situation on 9, and I immediately was, like, let’s see, I hit a good 3-wood, fluffed a chip, told James I hit the wrong club, and then went to where I was ended up chipping again, I still had no idea.
“But then he showed me the video and I looked at it and I go, What am I looking at? And it took me watching it twice to understand what he was talking about and then, and discussed I kicked a divot, but the ball was five feet away from me where it ended up stopping, and I was, like, I don’t know what, still, what you’re asking me. Because there was no intention of me trying to help my ball because there was no way my ball was even close to where I was at.”
Palmer birdied six of his last seven holes to zoom into contention for the title and add another win in Hawaii to his list of victories having previously won the Sony Open in Honolulu.
Smith’s round was made even more meritorious taking into account a three putt bogey at the 12th but one week out from the defence of his Sony Open title he finds himself in very good form to do so and something special tomorrow might yet yield a very high finish here.
Smith is in 16th place after starting the day in 32nd position and finds himself one shot ahead of his fellow Queenslander, Adam Scott, who added a round of 5 under par 68 on the par 73 layout to be tied for 21st.
Marc Leishman is two behind Scott after his round of 71 on a day of extremely low scoring.