Sun, 29 Mar 2020

Hovland fires 64 to take 3rd-round lead in Puerto Rico

Field Level Media
23 Feb 2020, 10:55 GMT+10

Norway's Viktor Hovland continued his hot play Saturday with an 8-under-par 64 to tie the lowest round score of his young career, giving him the third-round lead at the Puerto Rico Open in Rio Grande.

The 22-year-old Hovland, a rookie on the PGA Tour this season, birdied on three of his final four holes to top the leaderboard after 54 holes for the first time of his career with an 18-under 198.

Looking to become the first rookie to win on tour this season, Hovland was bogey-free at Grand Reserve Country Club with eight birdies -- including six on his last 10 holes after shooting just 2 under through the first eight holes.

Hovland will try to become the first third-round leader at the Puerto Rico Open to win the tournament since Chesson Hadley in 2014. If Hovland wins his 17th start, he would gain a full exemption for the entirety of the 2021-22 season and earn qualifications for numerous select events, including 2020 The Players Championship.

Not to be outdone, Scotland's Martin Laird tied the course record by firing a 9-under 63, sinking a pair of eagles -- on the par-5 second hole and par-4 10th. Laird, 37, was six shots better than his 69 in the second round, leaping to second place on the leaderboard at 17-under 199.

Laird is shooting for his fourth career PGA Tour win and his first since 2013 at the Valero Texas Open.

Josh Teater, the co-leader through 36 holes, is the top American on the board at 16 under, good for third place. He shot a 6-under 66 on Saturday, matching his first-round score as he targets the first PGA win of his career at age 40. He is two shots off the lead.

Second-round co-leader Emiliano Grillo of Argentina shot a 69 with five birdies and two bogeys, settling him in fourth place at 13 under entering Sunday. A pair of Americans are tied for fifth at 12 under, Patrick Rodgers (66 on Saturday) and Sam Ryder (69).

Five players are knotted for seventh at 11 under, including first-round leader Kyle Stanley (71), Ted Potter Jr. (67), Tyler McCumber (67), Ben Martin (69) and Sweden's David Lingmerth (69).

The alternate-field tournament is running concurrently with the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship.

--Field Level Media

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