After 54 holes of play at the BMW Championship, Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Cantlay shared the lead on 21 under, and will enter the finale at Caves Valley Golf Club holding a three-shot lead.
Amid a packed house on Saturday in suburban Baltimore, DeChambeau, the long bombing lightning rod, was the star of the show, while Cantlay played the slow and steady sidekick. In the end, though, the California natives were tied atop the 54-hole leaderboard.
DeChambeau, got off to a quick start with a birdie on 3 followed by back-to-back eagles on 4 and 5. He added two more birdies on Nos 8 and 11 to reach 7 under on the day, but the 27-year old dropped three shots in a two-hole span with a killer bogey on the par-5 12th followed by a water ball double on the par-3 13th. He finished with another bogey on 15 sandwiched between two birdies to settle on 5 under 67.
“Front nine I played really good,” said DeChambeau in what was an understatement of the day. “On, what hole was it, 7, I hit one right off the drive and it just didn’t feel right, and from then on just the driver seemed like wasn’t really in tune.
“But that’s okay. I scraped it around. I started off hot; birdieing 8 after that drive off to the left was pretty special. Then I had a little bit of mud on 12 and tried to play out to the left, the wind caught it, I just missed it a little right.
“Hit a great shot on 13, flushed it right at the flag and rode a bit of breeze, got up, and made an unfortunate error there. Then pulled my driver on 15 – 15 and 16.
“Striped one on 18, happy about that, but got to clean up the driver from today. If I can do that tomorrow, I should give myself plenty of chances.”
Cantlay, meanwhile, was playing under-the-radar for much of the day, despite 17 holes of 7 under par, which included five birdies and one eagle. A dropped shot on the final hole, though, saw the 2019 BMW runner-up sign for a 6-under 66, and fall back into a tie with DeChambeau at 21 under.
“Yeah, it was another day on an easy, soft golf course, so you needed to make a bunch of birdies,” said Cantlay. “I thought I played really well, all in all. I didn’t make too many mistakes.
“Played solid, didn’t putt as well as I did the first couple days but probably hit it a little better, and I thought it was a good day and I’m in a good spot for tomorrow.”
Sungjae Im was three off the pace following a third-day 66. The Korean was one clear of a four-player logjam which included Sergio Garcia (67), Sam Burns (65), Rory McIlroy (65) and Abraham Ancer (66) who were T4 on 17 under.
One further back, at 16-under par, was Jon Rahm, who struggled down the stretch, dropping three shots late, to post 2-under 70 and settle on 16 under.
BMW Championship Leaderboard
Round-3: Top 10
Pos-Player-To Par (Rd 3)
1. Bryson DeChambeau -21 (-5)
1. Patrick Cantlay -21 (-6)
3. Sungjae Im -18 (-6)
4. Sergio Garcia -17 (-5)
4. Sam Burns -17 (-7)
4. Rory McIlroy -17 (-7)
4. Abraham Ancer -17 (-6)
8. Jon Rahm -16 (-2)
9. Hudson Swafford -15 (-4)
10. Erik van Rooyen -14 (-5
10. Dustin Johnson 14 (-7)