PGA: Patrick Rodgers, Ben Martin unlikely leaders at RSM Classic


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Patrick Rodgers carded a 6-under 64 and Ben Martin had a 65 on Saturday to share the lead at the RSM Classic in St. Simons Island, Ga.

The duo is at 14-under 198 after three rounds, one shot ahead of Sahith Theegala, Andrew Putnam and Canada’s Adam Svensson. Svensson’s 62 was the low score of the day while Theegala shot 68 and Putnam 69 on the Seaside Course.

Seven golfers are tied for sixth at two shots off the lead. Brian Harman’s 64 was the best score of that group.

Taylor Montgomery and Canada’s Taylor Pendrith shot 65, while the others at 12 under are Alex Smalley (67), Kevin Streelman (68), Beau Hossler (69) and Harry Higgs (70).

Rodgers had seven birdies and one bogey on Saturday and will be looking for his first career PGA Tour win on Sunday. He drained four straight birdies on Nos. 13-16 to highlight his strong round.

“I was fortunate to get on a nice run there on the back nine, and today is all about positioning and I’m right there with a chance tomorrow, which is a really fun opportunity,” Rodgers said.

Just being in contention is a good feeling for Rodgers, who is competing in his 226th tournament. He has been a runner-up three times, including at this tournament in 2018 when he lost to Charles Howell III on the second playoff hole.

“A year or so ago I just kind of fought to get my card back,” said Rodgers, pointing out a low place in his career. “It was a humbling experience, but I felt like a year ago at this tournament I had put together a nice (tournament) and felt a lot more grounded in who I was as a PGA TOUR player.

“I feel incredibly settled in. I honestly feel like a veteran a bit out here at this point. Most of the time I’m playing with guys who are younger than I am, and plus experience, and so I’m going to try to lean on that tomorrow. I’m looking forward to the chance.”

Martin had a chance to be the sole leader but his lone bogey of the day came on the par-4, No. 18 when he missed a short par putt. He had six birdies in his round.

“I think I did a good job of just staying in the moment and executing the shots I wanted to hit,” Martin said.

Martin has one career PGA victory in 155 starts — the win coming at the Shriners Children’s Open in 2014.

His career was derailed by back and hip injuries as he missed most of 2018 and played just once in 2019.

“Then it was like I was coming back on a medical,” Martin said. “I had full status since, like, 2014. So I think mentally it was a little tougher. … And this was the first season back where I’ve been fully exempt.”

Svensson’s stellar round included an eagle on the par-5, No. 15, seven birdies and one bogey.

“Everything,” Svensson said when asked what was working. “I didn’t hit it as good as yesterday, but I just kind of got in the fairway and my iron play was pretty good.”

–Field Level Media


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