3M Open: Matthew Wolff reels in Bryson DeChambeau on third day
Former amateur star shares lead in just his third start as a professional, while Bryson DeChambeau falters on day three.
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 06/07/19 11:58pm
Matthew Wolff wowed the fans in Minnesota as he fired a nine-under 62 to vault into a share of the third-round lead at the inaugural 3M Open.
Wolff, making only his third start on the PGA Tour since turning professional last month, looked on course for a 59 when he made six consecutive birdies from the fifth, although he managed only two more over the next six holes before he bogeyed the 17th.
But the 20-year-old - with one of the most unconventional swings in the game - signed off with a birdie at the last to hit the top of the leaderboard on 15 under, a score later matched by Collin Morikawa and halfway leader Bryson DeChambeau, who carded just his second birdie of the round with the final putt of the third day.
Wolff was eight shots off the pace overnight, but he soon began making big strides up the leaderboard and stormed to the turn in 29 strokes, backing up his awesome power with impressive distance control with his irons and some rock-solid putting.
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After his early gain at the third, Wolff's six-birdie streak were all achieved with putts from inside 10 feet, although he missed another great chance at the long 12th before atoning with a 25-footer for a three on the next green.
Another big drive and precise wedge set up his ninth birdie of a sparkling round at the 15th and revived his hopes of breaking 60, but he missed from four feet at 16 and then blotted his card when his tee shot to the tough par-three 17th found sand from where he was unable to get up and down.
But Wolff finished on a high as he rolled in a nine-foot putt for a closing birdie at the last, which gave him the clubhouse lead until Morikawa handed in an eight-birdie 64, which was an inch from being one better when his birdie putt at the last came within a whisker of dropping.
DeChambeau had slept on a four-shot lead overnight following his 62 in the second round, and a runaway victory appeared on the cards when he holed from just inside 20 feet for birdie on the opening green.
But the world No 8 struggled for rhythm and consistency over the remainder of his round and spurned a few further birdie opportunities while also doing well to keep a bogey off his card, including at the sixth when he tugged his second into the water hazard.
DeChambeau missed a six-footer for birdie at the long 12th and then dropped his first shot of the tournament at the next, where he pushed his tee shot into a steep bank to the right of the green and failed to find the putting surface with his first chip.
He steadied himself with a good run of pars before ending his round as he started, his closing birdie salvaging a one-under 70 which made it a three-way share of the lead heading into the final round.
Wyndham Clark made seven birdies in nine holes mid-round and also birdied the last for a 64 which got him to 14 under where he was later joined by Canada's Adam Hadwin, who picked up shots on each of the last two holes to return a 69.
Hideki Matsuyama, Charles Howell III and Troy Merritt all fired 66s to move to 13 under, with Chilean sensation Joaquin Niemann a further stroke behind after a seven-birdie 65 blighted only by a three-putt bogey-six on the sixth.
World No 1 Brooks Koepka, who looked set to miss the cut until Cameron Davis triple-bogeyed his final hole late on Friday, moved into the top 50 with a 67, although he made a mess of the long 18th and found water twice before holing a 40-foot putt to limit the damage to a double-bogey seven.