2023 Sony Open leaderboard, scores: Hayden Buckley leads after Round 3 as he bids for first PGA Tour title

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Twelve players were in the lead at some point in the third round of the 2023 Sony Open on Saturday. Exchanging hands several times, it finally fell into the lap of Hayden Buckley who stands at 15 under after a round of 6 under 64 on Transfer Day. With a two-shot lead, the PGA Tour sophomore will get a taste of first-round contention in his 2023 debut.

As a member of the final group in the final round of a PGA Tour event for the first time in his career, there are sure to be nervous moments for Buckley, the overnight leader. With some uncertainty about how he will take the situation forward, the rest of the field – namely his rivals on Sunday David Lipsky and Ben Taylor at 13 under – will be relieved if Buckley is to to slip.

Friday night leader Chris Kirk heads the final group and also sits at 13 under after a round of 2 under 68. Starting his day by hitting his tee a- out of bounds, the former Georgia Bulldog showed resolve and is still in with a chance of winning his first PGA Tour title since 2015.

The Players Championship winner Si Woo Kim is 12 under after a good round of 6-under 64 on Saturday. However, the round of the tournament belongs to Andrew Putnam, who pulled back into the thick of things with an 8-under 62. For his efforts, Putnam joins Kirk and Kim and the final group of 12 younger.

The leader

1. Hayden Buckley (-15)

Not one, but two eagles on the back nine sent Buckley into the solo lead as he holed out from about 130 yards on the par-4 10th and flashed a 5-iron on the par-5 finishing hole to set up his second eagle of the day. . Outside of those two minutes, the rest of his round was pretty pedestrian as he plowed fairways and greens and settled for pars with a smile on his face. This same strategy could pay off big because those behind it have to chase birds.

“Nothing changes. Obviously the situation is huge, but nothing changes,” Buckley said of his first 54-hole lead. “I know the conditions could be a bit tougher tomorrow, so I’ll just be patient. But, yes, our strategy remains the same. We try our best to keep the ball on the fairway because that’s where we can play well. We feel that anywhere within 180 of the fairway is almost scoring for us, so we do everything we can to get the ball on track, and when we look, if they go in, they go. t, we’re just dealing with it.”

Other contestants

T2. David Lipsky, Ben Taylor, Chris Kirk (-13)

T5. Andrew Putnam, Si Woo Kim (-12)

T7. Will Gordon, Nat Lashley (-11)

T9. Ben Griffin, Maverick McNealy, JT Poston, Austin Eccroat, Taylor Montgomery (-10)

At last year’s Sony Open, Hideki Matsuyama went 63-63 over the weekend to defeat Russell Henley. After Saturday’s round, Putnam is a prime candidate to follow in the footsteps of the defending champion. Holding the second-longest active streak of cuts made on the PGA Tour, the 33-year-old is in the midst of quality form. Still winless, Putnam almost broke through at the Zozo Championship but eventually fell one stroke short of Keegan Bradley.

“I was playing really well,” Putnam said. “I played pretty well on my front nine. Thought I was 5 over. Couple bogeys, couple bogeys which I don’t usually do, and then the putter went up. Did I putts long. I’m sure my shots are well placed. high for this round. It seemed a lot easier. The wind wasn’t very high. Yesterday afternoon it was blowing just the normal trade winds.

Other photos of the day

Let’s start things off with Lipsky’s approach into the par-4 16th. With the ball under his feet in the fairway bunker, Lipsky hit his way to tap-in distance and instantly put himself in the lead. This shot could have gone a number of ways and a bounced birdie was definitely near the bottom of my list of possible outcomes.

Then we go to Church who needed a birdie after making a bogey on the previous hole on No. 13. Losing his sight to the right, Kirk made himself short-sided and had a downhill bunker shot face to a crowded pin. It may not have looked tough from the television angle, but this shot was dirty and showed some hand speed through impact.

2023 Sony Open odds and picks updated

  • Hayden Buckley: 10/19
  • Chris Kirk: 6-1
  • David Lipsky: 7-1
  • Si Woo Kim: 8-1
  • Ben Taylor: 8-1
  • Andrew Putnam: 10-1
  • Will Gordon: 25-1
  • Taylor Montgomery: 35-1
  • JT Poston: 35-1
  • Maverick McNealy: 40-1
  • Nate Lashley: 50-1
  • Mount Griffin: 70-1
  • SH Lee: 80-1
  • KH Lee: 90-1

Buckley’s approach numbers from Saturday will be cracked due to his piercing eagle and near albatross on the latter, but it’s another aspect of his game that makes me believe he seals the deal on Sunday . Sitting 11th in Driving Accuracy through 54 holes, the Mizzou product leads everyone inside the top five in that statistic. With the conditions potentially tougher and the fairways still very good, I expect Buckley’s presence off the tee to lead him to his first PGA Tour victory.

Rick Gehman and Greg DuCharme look back on Saturday’s action at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Follow & listen to the First Cut on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

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