Lowry, Skinns and Eckroat Are Tied for the Lead in the 52nd Cognizant Classic

Shane Lowry of Ireland played like the major champion he is.

Lowry (pictured) shot five-under-par 66 and is tied for the lead with David Skinns of England and Austin Eckroat heading to the final round of 52nd version of what is now the Cognizant Classic at the Palm Beaches on the Champion Course at PGA National Golf Resort in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

“Even though the scoring is pretty good this year, I like playing tough golf,” said Lowry, who captured the 2019 Open Championship a Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland. “I like it when everything is on the line a lot out there. You’re standing there over a lot of shots on this golf course, a lot that mean a lot, as in one bad swing can lead to a big number. I feel like I just know how to play the golf course. I feel like I’ve figured it out.

“No. 13 (where made a bogey) was very disappointing. I was very proud of myself after that because sometimes I can lose it a little bit when I miss a short putt like that. I was very happy with how I reacted after that.

“If my best is good enough tomorrow, that will be amazing.”

Lowry, who has won six times as a professional including twice on the PGA Tour, missed a three-foot par putt on that 13th hole, but made three birdies on each nine to record a 54-hole score of 13-under-par 200.

Skinns birdied two of the last three holes in a bogey-free 66, while Eckroat made the last of his five birdies on the final hole to cap a 68.

“I’m really pleased,” said Skinns, who has 10 pro victories, but none on the PGA Tour. “I’m excited to be in contention. I’ve just been waiting a long time to be in this spot. You want to feel those juices. You want to be there on Sunday. That’s why you put in all those hours when nobody is watching, and I’ve put in a lot of hours, and I’m pleased I get to see what it will be like on Sunday.”

Said Eckroat, who is seeking his first professional victory: “I saw that (Lowry and Skinns) made birdie on the last hole, too, and it’s just a different mindset when you’re going into the next day if you’re one shot back versus if you’re tied with the guys. I’m happy about it.”

Rookie Jacob Bridgeman collected four birdies on the back nine in a bogey-free 65 and is three strokes back in a tie for fourth with Min Woo Lee of Australia, who made five birdies on the back nine in a 66, Martin Laird of Scotland, who had five birdies on the front nine in another 66, Kevin Yu of Taiwan, who birdied the last hole for a 70, and Victor Perez of France, had three birdies on the back nine in another 70.

Andrew Novak made three of his five birdies on the back nine in a 70 and four shoots down in a tie for ninth with C.T. Pan of Taiwan, who made the last of his three birdies on the final hole to cap another 70.

Second-ranked Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland ran afoul of the infamous three-hole “Bear Trap,” when he made a bogey at No. 15, hit his approach shoot into the water en route to a triple-bogey 7 on the 16th hole and missed a birdie putt on the last those three hole in a 72 and is tied for 26th.

Ninth-ranked Matt Fitzpatrick of England birdied the last hole for a 70 and is tied for 31st, while defending champion Chris Kirk struggled to a 73 and is tied for 55th.

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

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