Bryson DeChambeau, the PGA Tour’s not-so-mad genius, found the correct formula in the third round the The Barclays, first event of the FedEx Cup playoffs.
The 24-year-old DeChambeau capped an 8-under-par 63 with a 17-foot birdie putt on the last hole to take a four-stroke lead over Keegan Bradley, who shot 62, at Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, N.J.
“(Bradley’s round) was pretty impressive, so I knew that if I wanted to be to top of the leaderboard, I would have to take it deep today,” said DeChambeau, who captured the 2017 John Deere Classic and 2018 Memorial Tournament for his first two PGA Tour victories. “(The putt) on No. 18 was rolling right on my line, went right over the edge and into the cup.
“It’s been a pretty good year, a little up-and-down, but I have been working hard on the range and figuring some things out. I’m just trying to calculate the physics of the swing and get the club in the right position on the stroke.
“I’m a man on a mission.”
DeChambeau, who is from Clovis and in 2015 joined Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods and Ryan Moore as the only players to win the NCAA Championship and the U.S. Amateur in the same year, posted a 54-hole score of 16-under 197.
Bradley, who captured the 2011 PGA Championship, birdied his first three holes and five of the last seven in his bogey-free 62.
Cameron Smith of Australia collected seven birdies in a 65 and is five shots back in a tie for third with Tony Finau, who chipped in from 46 feet for an eagle on the 12th hole in a bogey-free 66, while Billy Horschel put up a bogey-free 65 and is another stroke behind in a tie for fifth with Adam Scott of Australia, who rallied with three late birdies for a 70.
Eighth-ranked Jordan Spieth birdied five of six holes in a back-nine run to shoot 64 and is seven down in a tie for seventh with second-ranked Brooks Koepka (72), Phil Mickelson (68), Beau Hossler (66) of Mission Viejo, Chez Reavie (67), Patrick Cantlay (68) of Los Alamitos and UCLA, and Adam Hadwin (68) of Canada.
Third-ranked Justin Thomas posted a 69 and is in a tie for 14th that includes 10th-ranked Jason Day of Australia, who had a 68, while top-ranked Dustin Johnson, the defending champion, came in at 72 to tie for 20th, and Tiger Woods is tied for 49th after a 69.
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