July 02, 2017: The Potomac bared its fangs and spared no one. A rough and rowdy Saturday saw the players bleeding bogeys around the TPC Potomac. The leader David Lingmerth scored a 73, but managed to hold on to a one shot lead over the field in the Quicken Loans National. India’s Arjun Atwal fired a 75, falling back to even through 54 holes.
With the winds blowing and a storm brewing, conditions were far from ideal. They made the course even more difficult than it already was, leaving the leaderboard static enough for Lingmerth to cling on to the lead despite dropping three shots.
Spencer Levin outsmarts the rough conditions
Spencer Levin played an inspired round of golf, making some monster putts along the way in a brilliant 65. It was a round that was pure gold and one that helped Levin ride twenty spots up into third position.
Arjun Atwal played a good front nine
Arjun did well to hold on and produce a disciplined effort on the front nine. A bogey at the third hole was negated by a fine birdie at the fifth hole. With no other incident, Arjun made the turn in an even 35 shots.
Unfortunately though, the winds worsened from there and Arjun conceded four straight bogeys to suffer irreparable damage. Atwal made four straight pars to steady his boat, but a sixth bogey of the round at the final hole left him signing on a 75.
The round dropped Atwal from fourth overnight to T18, seven strokes from the leader.
Rickie Fowler remained hopeful of a good finish on Sunday
Rickie Fowler is the highest ranked professional in the field this week. After struggling for the first two days, he finally found his rhythm on Saturday. Rickie shot a 68 to get even with the course and set himself up for a respectable finish.
“I haven’t been far off all week,” said Fowler. “I felt like I’ve been swinging well. There’ve been a couple tee balls that have just snuck into the rough, I felt like I did a good job of it today hitting a little bit more up the center of the fairway.”