15 August 2021: In a pleasant round on Saturday, Anirban Lahiri hit 14 of 18 greens in regulation, and may have walked off wondering how much lower he could have gone. In the end though, a spotless three-under 67 containing an eagle and a birdie wasn’t a poor reward. Since conceding three three strokes in two holes on Friday, Anirban has travelled 23 holes without giving a shot to the course. He will hope to continue that run through Sunday and finish the regular season on a strong note. The FedExCup playoffs start next week, with Anirban assured a place in the Northern Trust, starting on Thursday.
Russell Henley continued to lead, retaining a three-stroke advantage over Tyler McCumber. The man in second has a stroke on a group of golfers consisting of Rory Sabbatini, Kevin Kisner, Scott Piercy, Kevin Na, Roger Sloan, and Branden Grace – tied for 3rd at 11 under.
Anirban was on the left edge of the fifth green in two shots. He punched in a brilliant 17 footer for eagle to record his first gains of the day. At the par-3 seventh, he flew his tee shot just short of the green, but made a delicate chip to still secure birdie with his second shot.
A poor second shot left of the green compromised his chances on the par-5 fifteenth and there were a few other putts inside fifteen feet that Anirban would have like to knock in to push higher up the order.
But he can take plenty of confidence from the good round on Saturday and hope for a good finish in the final round. Anirban more or less secured his PGA TOUR card when he finished T3 in the Barbasol Championship, and his effort this week has settled any debate over a seventh successive season on the biggest golf tour on the planet. It is an impressive accomplishment for the Indian, who also plays a constructive role on the Players Advisory Board with the PGA TOUR.
Anirban is in T28 with C.T. Pan, the Bronze medallist in Tokyo. The two men are at 7-under 203.
Henley kept his lead with a 69, securing a share/lead after 54-holes for the third time this season. On Sunday he will attempt to emulate Brandt Snedeker, as he tries to secure a wire to wire victory. Snedeker was the sixth golfer to achieve the feat at Wyndham since 1941.
In an interesting last minute rescue act, Scott Piercy, Roger Sloan and Rory Sabbatini are all tied in third as they continue their impressive assault this week to jump inside the top 125 on the FedExCup rankings to secure their cards through 2022.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Ryan Armour, Patrick Rodgers and Bo Hoag are set to fall out of the reckoning for a full card, after missing the cut this week. Justin Rose, started the week in 138, and he his hanging inside the edge of the top ten to try and make the playoffs. He is projected to be 126th, based on his current position at T9.
At 12-under McCumber will look to hunt down Henley to secure his maiden PGA TOUR win after 45 starts. His best result was a runner-up finish in the Corales Puntacana Championship in 2020. He missed six straight cuts entering the tournament this week.
Kevin Na sits at 11-under chasing a hat-trick of top ten finishes in the tournament. Despite an eighth consecutive round in the 60s, Will Zalatoris appears set to miss out on the playoffs. He needed a win going into the week, and is lying in T15 at 9-under.
Russell Henley 62-64-69—195 (-15)
Tyler McCumber 65-67-66—198 (-12)
Branden Grace 66-69-64—199 (-11)
Roger Sloan 71-64-64—199 (-11)
Kevin Kisner 65-68-66—199 (-11)
Kevin Na 68-64-67—199 (-11)
Scott Piercy 64-66-69—199 (-11)
Rory Sabbatini 66-64-69—199 (-11)
Leading Asia-Pacific Scores
Adam Scott 66-70-64 – 200 (-10, T9)
Sungjae Im 66-68-67 – 201 (-9, T15)
Si Woo Kim 66-68-67 – 201 (-9)
Sung Kang 64-69-68 – 201 (-9)
C.T. Pan 68-69-66 – 203 (-7, T28)
Anirban Lahiri 67-69-67 – 203 (-7)
Kiradech Aphibarnrat 66-68-71 – 205 (-5, T39)