Joel Dahmen shot 68 on Saturday to join overnight co-leader Rafael Campos atop the 54-hole leaderboard at the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship.
Dahmen got off to a slow start on Saturday at the challenging Tom Fazio-designed Corales course, offsetting two bogeys with a pair of birdies to turn on even-par 36. But the 33-year old Washington native picked up the pace on the inward nine, carding birdies on Nos. 10, 12, 14, and 16 en route to a bogey-free 32 to reach 10-under par.
Afterwards, Dahmen credited his caddie for righting the ship after a difficult front nine.
“My caddie, Geno, told me to kind of get it together. I haven’t played that front nine very well, which is the easier of the two nines before,” said Dahmen. “Playing with Graeme [McDowell] today – he got off to kind of a good start and I was kind of behind the eight-ball. He kind of kicked my butt after the three-putt on 8.
“I started being a little more aggressive with my putts just got to get them to the hole and they might actually go in, and they did thankfully on the back.”
Meanwhile, Campos, as he’d done in the opening two rounds, once again made his way around the acclaimed oceanside track, picking his spots to score, while avoiding any big numbers.
The 32-year old Puerto Rico native finished with 13 pars, alongside four birdies and just a single bogey – only his second of the tournament – to reach 10 under par, and secure a spot in Sunday’s final pairing.
“Tomorrow’s going to be a little bit more of the same. I was looking at The Weather Channel and we’re going to still have the same wind direction, which makes the course really tough,” said Campos.
“You only get to play five holes downwind, the rest are pretty much into the wind. So it’s really tough to — and you have to grind as much as you can like into the wind.
“It’s going to be exciting. I’m excited to play. Hopefully get off to a good start tomorrow and kind of work my way through the back nine. Should be fun tomorrow.”
One off the pace was Danny Willett, who shot 5-under 67, highlighted by a run of six birdies in an eight-hole stretch, to reach 9 under par.
“I was really solid, didn’t do a great deal wrong. I had a real nice spell in the middle. I think I had a chance on 10, could have been six in a row,” said Willett, referencing his birdie binge.
“Yeah, from there I kind of got the better side of par. And you’re not going to take on a couple of the sneaky pins that are out there with the winds.
“Just some really solid stuff all around. The last four holes played really tough, so I think to play them in level was probably the icing on the cake of a good solid day.”
The former Masters winner shared third-place with red-hot Canadian Michael Gligic, who fired a second-straight bogey-free round – this time a 68 – to join Willet in Sunday’s penultimate pairing.
Pre-tournament favorites Thomas Pieters (68) and Emiliano Grillo (65) were T5 on 8-under par, one-shot clear of a six-player logjam headlined by Charley Hoffman (68), and the two most recent “Kings of Corales,” Hudson Swafford (68) and Graeme McDowell (70), respectively.
Leaderboard: Top 10
Pos-Player-To Par (Rd 3)
1. Joel Dahmen -10 (-4)
1. Rafael Campos -10 (-3)
3. Danny Willet -9 (-5)
3. Michael Gligic -9 (-4)
5. Emiliano Grillo -8 (-7)
5. Thomas Pieters -8 (-3)
7. Charley Hoffman -7 (-4)
7. Hudson Swafford -7 (-4)
7. Sepp Straka -7 (-3)
7. Graeme McDowell -7 (-2)
7. Roberto Castro -7 (-2)
7. Fabrizio Zanotti -7 (E)
Round-3 Video Highlights
The best shots of the day from round 3 of the 2021 Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship, featuring Joel Dahmen and Rafael Campos who are tied for lead heading into Sunday’s finale.
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