Gary Woodland shot a 5-under 68 on Saturday and will take the same three-shot lead into Sunday’s finale that he held after two rounds of the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
The 34-year old Kansan got off to a strong start on Saturday at Kapalua with a birdies on Nos. 4, 5 and 9 to turn in 33 and reach 15 under. But after a five-hole stretch of four pars and a bogey, he found himself tied for the lead with Rory McIlroy at 14 under.
Woodland picked up the pace down the stretch, though – highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 15th and a closing birdie on No. 18 to reach 17 under, good enough to maintain a three-shot lead.
“I played solid all day, got off to a nice start. Nice to make the birdie there on 4. Obviously birdied 5. I would like to have not made the bogey there on 12, kind of got a little unfortunate. Hit a great drive down there, just plugged, and then kind of got bad second shot came up and it was in a divot, so that was unfortunate,” said Woodland.
“But outside of that bounced back. It was a nice eagle there on 15. It was nice to see a long putt go in. And then finished with a birdie, was a big putt on the last hole.”
McIlroy carded a bogey-free 68 to secure the solo second spot at 14-under par, and a tee time alongside Woodland in Sunday’s final group.
“Another good round of golf. I drove it well again, iron play was pretty good for the most part, finished out well, holed good putts when I needed to to save par and some good birdies and just need to keep it going for one more day,” said McIlroy.
Alone in third was Marc Leishman, who finished his final seven holes with four birdies, including three gains in a four-hole stretch on Nos. 12, 14, and 15, en route to a 68 and a 13-under par total.
“I’m where I wanted to be and I’ve played really well since then. So give myself a chance with a low one tomorrow,” said Leishman.
“Obviously Gary’s playing really well, as is Rory. But I’ll need a very low score, especially with the predicted wind drop, I guess. No, this is right where I want to be.”
Xander Schauffele carded a third-day 68, highlighted by a four-pack of gains down the stretch to reach 12-under par alongside Bryson DeChambeau (70).
Two further back was Justin Thomas, who closed with birdies on Nos. 12, 15, and 18 to sign for a 3-under par 70 to join Kevin Tway (72) at 10 under.
Jon Rahm and Dustin Johnson posted matching 69s and were T9 at 9-under par, one clear of Patton Kizzire (71).
SENTRY TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS
TOP 10 LEADERS: ROUND THREE
1. Gary Woodland -17 (-5)
2. Rory McIlroy -14 (-5)
3. Marc Leishman -13 (-5)
4. Bryson DeChambeau -12 (-3)
4. Xander Schauffele -12 (-5)
6. Justin Thomas -10 (-3)
6. Kevin Tway -10 (-1)
8. Dustin Johnson -9 (-4)
8. Jon Rahm -9 (-4)
10. Patton Kizzire -8 (-2)
STAT LEADERS: ROUND THREE
Driving: Cameron Champ – 306 yards
Fairways: Satoshi Kodaira – 41/45, 91.1%
Greens: Rory McIlroy – 48/54, 88.9%
Putting: Dustin Johnson – 1.632
Scoring: Gary Woodland – 1 eagle, 20 birdies
VIDEO: ROUND-3 HIGHLIGHTS
“It’s nice to see your name up at the top of the leaderboard first week back out. But I honestly didn’t play much golf in the off-season. I hit a lot of balls and I practiced and I worked on a few things, but that’s obviously very different than going out there and trying to shoot a score. So very pleased with how that’s went from range and feeling pretty good on the range to shooting good scores.”
– Rory McIlroy
SCORES & STATS