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Burns struggles to keep share of Tampa lead with Bradley


PALM HARBOR, Fla. (AP) — Keegan Bradley hit one of his worst photographs of the spherical and it led to eagle. Sam Burns hit a pair of tee photographs proper the place he wished and so they value him bogeys.

They completed the place they began Saturday within the Valspar Championship, tied for the lead, and now they’ve firm from Max Homa.

Both put a optimistic spin on a sloppy end at Innisbrook.

Burns had a three-shot lead with 5 holes remaining, and he had to make an 8-foot bogey putt on the 18th gap for a 2-under 69 simply to have an opportunity at sharing the lead.

“I thought I hit a really good tee shot on 16. It just snuck through the fairway there and just not really a good spot. And then 18, I thought that ball was in the fairway. I think it just kicked dead left and into a bad lie in the bunker,” Burns mentioned.

“I can’t change anything from today,” he mentioned. “So tomorrow will be a fresh start and we’ll try to work our process and go out there and try to take care of business.”

Bradley, whose chip-in for eagle on the par-5 14th turned his fortunes shortly, was within the center of the 18th fairway when he got here up brief in a bunker with a entrance pin. He blasted out to 7 toes and missed on the low aspect.

It was the fourth putt from inside 10 toes he missed on the again 9.

“Today could be my best round of the tournament so far. I just didn’t hole the putts that I’ve been making the first two rounds,” Bradley mentioned. “But without doing that, I still shot 69 and I’m still tied for the lead. So all good.”

They have been at 14-under 199, tying the 54-hole match file set by Ok.J. Choi in 2002 and matched by Adam Hadwin in 2017.

Homa ran in a birdie putt from simply inside 30 toes on the fifteenth gap, and after a bogey on the robust sixteenth, he closed out his spherical of 66 by making a 35-foot bending birdie putt from the perimeter on the 18th.

That makes seven putts from 25 toes or longer this week for Homa, and it left him just one shot out of the lead as he goes for his second PGA Tour victory this 12 months.

“Only one time I feel like I was out of position,” Homa mentioned. “Really struck the ball well, kept making putts. So that’s been fun. But just kind of a repeat of last couple days.”

Burns has a minimum of a share of the 54-hole lead for the third time this season. He shot 2-over 72 within the Houston Open to tie for seventh, and his 2-under 69 at Riviera left him one shot out of a playoff on the Genesis Invitational received by Homa.

If the final hour was any indication, it does not take a lot for the Copperhead course at Innisbrook to chunk again.

“There’s some birdies out there,” Abraham Ancer mentioned after his 66. “But this golf course, if you’re not in the right position, man, you can make some bogeys quick.”

And thanks to just a few fast bogeys by the leaders, Ancer is out of the blue again within the combine. He was within the group at 10-under 203, alongside with Ted Potter Jr. (63), Joaquin Niemann (67) and Cameron Tringale (67).

Niemann started his week in the identical group as Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas, Nos. 1 and a couple of on this planet, who’re now not half of the equation. Thomas had a 67 and was eight photographs behind. Johnson took double bogey on the sixteenth and 18th holes for a 74 and might be out of city earlier than the ultimate group tees off.

Paul Casey’s bid for a 3rd consecutive win on the Valspar Championship is gone, too. He shot 72 and was 12 photographs out of the lead.

The prime three all made eagle throughout a sweltering Saturday, all in numerous vogue.

It began with Burns, who despatched a 3-hybrid hovering with such peak that it pitched in entrance of the primary gap and settled 30 inches away for a tap-in eagle. Burns additionally made a 35-foot birdie putt on the third gap and hit a tricky bunker shot to 10 toes for birdie on the fifth.

Burns did not make one other birdie over the ultimate 13 holes.

The lead was three photographs when Bradley missed a par putt on the thirteenth gap. But on the par-5 14th, Bradley went for the inexperienced and got here up brief and to the suitable. He chipped in for eagle, and on the following gap, and two holes later, Burns bogeyed the sixteenth.

Homa made his eagle the laborious method, holing out with a niche wedge from 138 yards on the sixth gap, which solely yielded eight birdies your complete spherical.

Homa began the spherical 4 photographs behind Burns and Bradley, and he fell seven photographs again after the opening 4 holes. That did not trouble him.

“I just knew if I posted 4 under-ish I would at least have a chance tomorrow, but that’s all you can do out here,” Homa mentioned. “The moment you try to shoot 8 (under), you’re in trouble. So yeah, feels good to have a chance.”

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