13 Sep 2020 | Professional golf |
Cam Percy on verge of a groundbreaker
by Martin Blake
Veteran Cameron Percy is staring at a chance of his first US PGA Tour win -- and a career-changing moment -- after another fine round at Silverado Resort in the Safeway Open today.
North Carolina-based Victorian Percy, 46, sits tied at the top at 16-under par going into the final round after a 68 today to go with earlier rounds of 64 and 68.
The stakes could hardly be higher for a man who graduated from Southern Golf Club in Melbourne to a 10-year career in America. The winner tomorrow gets more than $US1 million, an exemption to play on the main tour until the end of the 2022-23 season, and a start in the Masters, the PGA Championship and The Players for 2021.
“It would mean the world to me,” he said after his round. “It’d be fantastic. It would mean I get to go to Augusta, which is a goal. I’ve never been to Augusta which is the biggest hole you have when you come over here. I just thought I’d get there and I haven’t got there yet. It’s a big deal.”
Percy had the lead to himself when he rolled a 10-metre birdie putt over the front lip at the par-four 10th, but a three-putt bogey at the 11th and another shot given back after he went bunker-to-bunker at the par-four 14th took away some momentum. Another birdie after a nice up-and-down from left of the green at the par-five 16th regained some focus, and then a superb sand wedge shot to a few centimetres from the stick at the par-four 17th took him back into the lead.
Percy has a Korn Ferry Tour win to his name in 2014 but the closest he has come to a win on the main tour was a playoff loss in 2010.
This week he put a new putter into his bag – the same type that Bryson DeChambeau uses – and it has worked for him.
A father of three, he has been practising with his 14-year-old son Liam back in Raleigh, North Carolina in recent weeks as he recovered from a rib and back injury that saw him withdraw from two tournaments. Even today he was troubled by the injury. “The last few shots on the range really hurt,’’ he said.
“I get to impact and it won’t let me turn. I really struggled today and playing with Russell (Knox) who played beautifully, I felt like I was just chopping it today. But I managed to keep it in play and hit a few nice wedges at the end there and got round in a good score.”
The Victorian shares the lead with Americans James Hahn and Brian Stuard, but he expects a sprint to the finish line tomorrow.
“The way the weather’s been this week, you’re going to have to go low. There’s no defensive golf if that makes sense.”
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