17 Sep 2023 | Professional golf |
Davis unleashes birdie blitz at Fortinet Championship
by Tony Webeck
Birdies at each of his final four holes has elevated Australian Cam Davis into a tie for second heading into the final round of the Fortinet Championship in California.
A PGA TOUR winner two years ago at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit, Davis fired a 7-under 65 at Silverado Resort to trail American Sahith Theegala by two strokes with one round left to play, level with Justin Thomas (65), Matt Kuchar (65) and SH Kim (69) at 15-under par.
Tied for sixth through 36 holes after consecutive rounds of 4-under 68, Davis was holding his spot inside the top 10 before unleashing a late charge up the leaderboard.
A birdie from 12 feet at the par-4 sixth was Davis’s only birdie of the front nine but he began the back nine in style, almost holing his wedge shot into the par-4 10th, tapping in from just four inches to move to 2-under.
His stellar wedge play continued when he hit his approach from 84 yards inside three feet at the par-4 13th but that would be just a taste of what was to come.
The 2017 Australian Open champion two-putted for birdie from 36 feet at the par-5 15th, holed a 15-footer for birdie on 16, hit his tee shot to eight feet to set up birdie at the par-3 17th and got up-and-down from the greenside bunker for a final birdie at the par-5 18th and a back nine of 6-under 31.
Having played his way into the second-to-last event of the FedEx Cup Playoffs with three consecutive top-10s, Davis is revelling the opportunity to play without pressure in the relaxed California vibe.
“If I was fighting for position for next year still, it would be a very different mindset to what I’ve currently got,” Davis admitted.
“It’s nice playing with a little less stress on keeping your job and a little more focus on improving your game and working on some things that you’ve been working on behind the scenes.
“I just think the overall vibe for the tournament for me is a little more enjoyable than stressful, which it normally is for me.
“I love coming here, I love the weather right now, I love how the course is playing. It’s a really nice week.”
Round 1 leader Lucas Herbert bounced back from a 75 in Round 2 with a 71 on Saturday to sit in a tie for 28th in his first start back since The Open.
In his debut on the seniors circuit, Scott Hend is tied for third going into the final round of the WINSTONgolf Senior Open in Germany while Kiwi Ryan Fox is three shots from the lead and in a tie for fourth at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
Seven birdies and an eagle in his round of 5-under 67 elevated Adam Scott into a tie for 17th through three rounds, tied with Min Woo Lee as best Australian at 9-under par.
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