Aberg Holds One-Stroke Lead Over Cole in RSM Classic After a Bogey-Free 61

Rookie Ludvig Aberg of Sweden didn’t lose his place.

The 24-year-old Aberg, who is seeking his first PGA Tour victory, posted a bogey-free, nine-under-par 61 to maintain a one-stroke lead over rookie Eric Cole of Palm Springs heading to the final round of the 14th RSM Classic on the Seaside Course at Sea Island Golf Club in St. Simons Island, Ga.

All players in the field played one round each on the Plantation and Seaside Courses on the first two days, but the last two rounds are played exclusively on the host Seaside Course.

“I knew with better conditions today, without the wind and rain we had the last two days, that the scores would be low,” said Aberg, who captured the Omega European Masters on the DP World Tour in September. “So, I had that mindset and it was a good day. I approached it that way, hit a lot of good shots and made some putts. It was a nice walk around the course.

“There are a lot of possible scenarios, but I try not to get wrapped up in all that, and just go out and play my game, take it shot-by-shot. I’m a fast player, but sometimes I just have to relax and not get ahead of myself.

“There’s a lot of golf left to be played and I just have to keep doing what I have been doing.”

Aberg, who has not made a bogey in the first three rounds, sank a 13-foot eagle putt on the 15th hole to go with seven birdies in his flawless 61 while recording a 54-hole score of 20-under-par 192.

Cole, who also is looking for his first PGA Tour victory after losing in a playoff at the Honda Classic in February, also carded a 61 with a four-foot eagle putt at No. 15 to go with eight birdies against a lone bogey on the fourth hole.

“Everything was working well today and I really got it going on the back nine,” said Cole, who won 12 times on the Minor League Golf Tour, “I was hitting my irons really well and the ball just started going into the hole after I made the turn and it was a lot of fun. I hit some good shots and got some good breaks, too.

“I’ve been pretty focused on my game lately and have been playing really well. I just want to keep doing the things that I have been doing because I have found a pretty good grove and just want to stick with it. Everything is working.

“I just want to keep doing the same things tomorrow and have a chance to win.”

Mackenzie Hughes of Canada, who won the 2016 RSM Classic, flirted with 59 by sinking a 24-foot birdie putt on the 15th hole and adding eight birdies in a bogey-free 60 to finish two shots back in solo third.

Hughes missed a 16-foot birdie putt on the last hole that would have given him the 59.

“I really started thinking about shooting 59 when I made that eagle putt at No. 15 and then followed that with birdies on the next two holes,” said Hughes, who also won the 2022 Sanderson Farms Championship with a birdie on the second playoff hole.

“I felt pretty good walking up the last hole and thought I had a good chance to make that putt, but I just mis-read it a little bit and it broke to the right. However, to have a chance to shoot 59 and also be in position to possibly win the tournament is pretty cool.”

Tyler Duncan shot a bogey-free 62 with four birdies on each nine and is three behind in solo fourth, followed Sam Ryder, who is four down in fifth after he birdied the last two holes for a second straight 65, while Greyson Sigg carded a bogey-free 64 with three birdies on each nine and is one more back in a tie for sixth with Denny McCarthy, who made three late birdies in a 66.

Ryan Moore eagled No. 15 and added six birdies in a bogey-free 62 that put him seven shots back in a big tie for eighth with Kevin Tway, who birdied the las four holes to cap a bogey-free 63; Alex Noren of Sweden and Vince Whaley, who bot shot bogey-free 64s; Matt NeSmith and Robert Streb, who both had 65s, and Peter Kuest of Fresno and Austin Eckroat, who both came in at 66.

Defending champion Adam Svensson of Canada shot 67 and is tied for 20th, Chris Kirk, who won the 2013 RSM Classic, is tied for 30th after a 66, while Camilo Villegas of Colombia, who won the World Wide Technology Championship last week in Los Cabos, Mexico, is tied for 55th following a 68, and Kevin Kisner, who won this event in 2015, totaled 70 to tie for 68th.

This is the seventh and final tournament of the inaugural PGA Tour Fall Series.

There are two unofficial PGA Tour events left on the schedule this year, the Hero World Challenge which is hosted by Tiger Woods on the Albany Golf Course in New Providence, The Bahamas, starting on Nov. 30, and the Grant Thornton Invitational at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Fla., which begins on Dec. 8.

Woods, who has been battling a leg injury the last few years, announced that he will play in the Hero.

The 2024 PGA Tour season will start, as usual, with the Sentry Tournament of Champions on the Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort on the Big Island of Hawaii, which will begin on Jan. 4, followed by the Sony Open in Hawaii at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, which will kick off on Jan. 11. 

For complete results and final -round tee times, visit: https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard

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