Keegan Bradley Still in the Lead at the 54-hole Mark

Keegan Bradley is doing what he has to do to maintain his lead in the HP Byron Nelson Championship in Dallas. After 54 holes, he still has the lead although it’s now down to just one stroke. He shot 2-under today while Sang-Moon Bae locked up 2nd by himself with a 4-under 66, his third in as many days. Bradley is feeling pretty good about his game:

I played solid today.  One of the most solid rounds of the year considering all that was going on: windy, putted very well, looking forward to the weekend.

And he is very aware of the prime spot that he has worked himself into with big Texas winds forecast for Sunday’s final round: 

Makes it harder if I play well; it’s harder for them to catch me.  But it’s the same for everybody.  I’ve won here in really windy conditions.  Today was pretty windy but this course was set up to where it can be windy and you can play it.  It’s kind of like Kapalua, where it can blow really hard, but it’s still playable.  The staff here does a really good job with that.  I’m fine with it being windier, same for everybody.

For no other reason than the language barrier, Bae seems to be very quite. He speaks in one and two sentence bursts, but his play so far shooting three 66s is proof that “still waters run deep:”

One shot behind Keegan, looking forward to tomorrow.

Just only play just my game.  Nobody knows.  Wind will blow but, yeah, I will play, focus on my game.

I saw this guy in person at the Accenture Match Play Championship and his ball-striking is very impressive. His energy seems to just flow into the ball and transform it into a work of art against the sky.

Settling into 3rd by himself, journeyman Tom Gillis is coming into his own after re-uniting with his coach this week. This followed a separation instigated by Gillis, but he’s delighted his coach is back on the team and he’s playing that way. He’s 2 shots back of Bradley.

It was tough out there, blew pretty hard, pretty steady, 15 to 20 all day, much different than yesterday’s round in the morning, but I kinda expected that.

[The course] is a lot like the Honda [in Palm Beach Gardens] or something similar to that, tough conditions, maybe not as tough of a golf course.  So I think the key tomorrow is to give yourself a lot of opportunities and see if you can probably put a good one on it because Keegan is playing pretty good. But you got to play ’em all, see how it shakes out.

And in 4th by himself is Scott Piercy, a two-time winner. He’s at 10-under, 3 shots back of Bradley and encouraged by how he’s playing and one other big thing:

Being in contention.  Haven’t been there for a couple of months.

I haven’t played well for a couple of months, so it was nice to take the turn and hopefully go out there and win tomorrow.

It seems Sunday’s winner will come from this group of four players because Piercy is two shots better than the next group of four players and Sunday is going to be a very tough day:

It was playing tough, it was blowing 15, 20 miles an hour.  From 170 I was hitting 5‑iron and normally I hit a 5‑iron about 200 yards, and the wind is definitely up, and if it starts getting baked out it will be tough tomorrow.

Expecting 25 to 35 miles an hour winds, it will be very difficult to go low. I’m tempted to say that it will be hard to get under par at all, but the talent on the PGA Tour has routinely been better than almost every weather forecast. We’ll see.

It must be nice.

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