Fairways And Roughs Title

The Upshot: Crane riding wave of positivity

By PGA Tour News
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Notes and observations from the third round of the FedEx St. Jude Classic, where Rafa Cabrera Bello (65), Ben Crane (68) and Stewart Cink (69) are tied at the top at 9 under. Luke List and Chad Campbell each shot 66 and were just a shot behind, and 21 players are within four of the lead at 5 under or better going into Sunday.    For more coverage from TPC Southwind, click here for the Daily Wrap-up. CRANE RIDES POSITIVITY WAVE Ben Crane, 41, is a five-time TOUR winner but came into this week well down the list at 161st in the FedExCup and 461st in the Official World Golf Ranking. He couldn’t have looked happier Saturday. He kept his ball on the fairways at TPC Southwind; chatted with good friend Stewart Cink, who was also playing well; saw friends and family in the gallery; and had a thoughtful discussion about golf course architecture as he wondered if there was anywhere else he’d rather be. All the while, the Oregonian turned Texan turned Tennessean (his current home) was shooting a bogey-free 68 to get into position for his latest career highlight. His round was one of only two on the day without a bogey, along with Scott Stallings (65). “It's great to be here so close to home,” Crane said. “We live right down the road in Nashville and so many great friends and a lot of family out here as well. “… I love this golf course. I love the routing of it. I think it's one of the best courses. Stewart and I were mentioning walking up, ‘Is this the best golf course on TOUR?’ It's certainly in the top five. It's just really well thought out. I couldn't love it any more.” It loved him back as Crane won the 2014 FedEx St. Jude Classic, the last time he held a 54-hole lead/co-lead on TOUR. He would become the sixth multiple winner here after Dave Hill (four), Lee Trevino (three), Nick Price (two), David Toms (two) and Justin Leonard (two.) CAMPBELL MAKES MOVE Cink, 44, and Crane, 41, aren’t the only ones rolling back the odometers at TPC Southwind. Chad Campbell, 43, got to 9 under but dropped a shot at the 17th hole and signed for a 66, getting himself in prime position for his first win since the 2007 Viking Classic. A decade ago, Campbell was a gracing magazine covers, beating Padraig Harrington in Ryder Cup singles (in Team USA’s winning effort in 2008), and racking up four TOUR titles when he wasn’t contending in majors. He came into this week 88th in the FedExCup standings after a solid two weeks in his native Texas, where he registered a T13 at the AT&T Byron Nelson and a T34 at the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational. MICKELSON FADES AT FINISH For the second straight day, Phil Mickelson dropped multiple shots on the closing holes, but his 69 left him tied for 13th and just four shots off the lead at 5 under par. This time, his par putt horseshoed out of the hole at the 17th hole, and he hit his tee shot into the water hazard and double-bogeyed the 18th hole to leave a sour taste. The most under-par player at the FedEx St. Jude over the last five years, Mickelson is still looking for his first victory since the 2013 Open Championship. He also has unfinished business at TPC Southwind after finishing second in 2013 and 2016, T3 in 2015, and T11 in 2014.  CABRERA BELLO EYES FIRST WIN Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello chipped in at the third and fourth holes and took just nine putts over his first eight holes as he surged into contention. He shot 65 to get to 9 under par, in prime position for his first PGA TOUR victory at age 33. A two-time winner on the European Tour, Cabrera-Bello is 91st in FedExCup points and 30th in the Official World Golf Ranking, but is in position to improve both of those numbers.  “It got me in a good mood,” Cabrera Bello said of the consecutive chip-ins. “And that’s probably why it helped me play better throughout the day.” His 65 was tied for the low round of the day with Scott Stallings and Tyrone Van Aswegen. Cabrera Bello’s co-leaders Cink and Crane each have multiple TOUR wins. “To be fair, today it’s been like playing a new course,” Cabrera Bello said. “I really felt like it was much firmer, much faster. I’ve been pretty much hitting driver everyone on the course these past few days, including practice rounds, just because the ball was rolling nowhere. “Today was a bit different.” CALL OF THE DAY Free play-by-play coverage of the final round streams from 1-6 p.m. ET Sunday on PGATOUR.COM. SHOT OF THE DAY ODDS AND ENDS Cink is calling this his hometown tournament. He grew up in Florence, Alabama, about a 2-and-a-half-hour drive east of Memphis, and said he is seeing familiar faces in the crowd, primarily the faces of “old golf buddies I grew up playing against.” He is one of four players in the FedEx St. Jude field whose most recent victory came at the Open Championship (2009). The others: David Duval (won the 2001 Open, shot 78-73 at TPC Southwind to miss the cut), Ernie Els (2012, 74 Saturday, T61) and Phil Mickelson (2013, 69, T13). … Vijay Singh, Hunter Mahan, Peter Uihlein, Ryan Palmer and Chris Kirk were among 15 players who missed the Saturday cut, which rendered players at 3 over or higher MDF. … Fabian Gomez and Daniel Berger, who won the FedEx St. Jude Classic in 2015 and ’16, respectively, were in the same threesome and played their way back into contention. Berger shot 66 to finish at 6 under. Gomez had a 67 to finish at 5 under. “Honestly, the way I've struck the ball the last few days, I'm underachieving at 6 under right now,” Berger said. … Whee Kim, who eagled the par-5 16th hole on the way to a 69 to get to 6 under par, lost a playoff for the final two spots out of the U.S. Open sectional at nearby Germantown Country Club on Tuesday morning, but as first alternate he’s expected to get in nevertheless. …  Coming into Saturday, TPC Southwind’s par-4 12th hole, with water down the left side, had collected the most errant shots since 2003 with 878. It claimed another victim on Saturday, twice, as Chris Kirk hit his approach shot into the drink, took a drop and a penalty stroke, hit his next one into the water hazard, too, and eventually tapped in for a quadruple-bogey 8.  BEST OF SOCIAL MEDIA


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