Shane Lowry six back heading into final round of Honda Classic

Tommy Fleetwood will take a one shot lead into Sunday after an impressive 67

Shane Lowry talks with his caddie Bo Martin during the third round of the Honda Classic at PGA National Resort in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Photo: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Shane Lowry talks with his caddie Bo Martin during the third round of the Honda Classic at PGA National Resort in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Photo: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

 

Shane Lowry will have to make up a six shot defecit if he is to claim the Honda Classic title after a third round 73 on a difficult day in Palm Beach Gardens.

The British Open winner started with a birdie at the third before dropping three shots in his next two holes as a result of a bogey at the fourth and then hitting his tee shot into the water at the Par 3 fifth, winding up with a double bogey.

A birdie at the sixth limited the damage somewhat but another bogey at the very next hole put paid to that.

After a run of pars and a birdie at the 13th Lowry was keeping himself in the battle on what was a breezy day at the fearsome PGA National. However, consecutive bogeys to finish at the 17th and 18th saw him sign for a 73 to sit at one over par, six shots behind leader Tommy Fleetwood.

England’s Fleetwood will take a one-stroke advantage into the final round after a seriously impressive round of 67.

Fleetwood, looking to claim a first PGA Tour victory, birdied four of his final six holes to sit at five-under through 54 holes.

Compatriots Lee Westwood and Luke Donald both battled through one-over third rounds of 71 to tie for third place, two strokes behind.

Overnight leader Brendan Steele is in second at four-under. The American was also one over around the Champion Course on Saturday, where only 11 players broke par in the testing conditions.

Former European number one Fleetwood, 29, had been three off the lead and went into the turn at one under after recovering from a dropped shot at the par-three seventh.

Although another bogey followed at the 10th, successive birdies came from the 13th hole before another two shots were picked up by the world number 12 over the closing holes — including a 48-foot putt at the 17th.

“I could not ask for much more from today, it was a good day,” Fleetwood said on Sky Sports.

“Eventually I holed a couple of long ones today and it makes such a difference, and I holed some really crucial putts around that middle stretch.”

Fleetwood added: “Tomorrow will be the same — to stand up and trust my driver, which is my strength, then to go out there and do something similar to what I did today.”

American Daniel Berger, South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel and Sungjae Im of South Korea are tied for fifth place on two under.

Canada’s Mackenzie Hughes produced the best round of the day, shooting a 66 as he climbed to tie for eighth place at one-under.

American Grayson Murray, meanwhile, delighted the home crowd with a hole-in-one at the 17th.

Collated third round scores & totals in the USPGA Tour The Honda Classic, PGA National, (Champion), Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, United States of America (USA unless stated, par 70):

205 Tommy Fleetwood (Eng) 70 68 67

206 Brendan Steele 68 67 71

207 Luke Donald (Eng) 70 66 71, Lee Westwood (Eng) 67 69 71

208 Daniel Berger 69 70 69, Charl Schwartzel (Rsa) 69 69 70, Sungjae Im (Kor) 72 66 70

209 JT Poston 67 69 73, Rory Sabbatini (Svk) 71 69 69, Robby Shelton 70 69 70, Russell Henley 70 69 70, Mark Hubbard 69 71 69, Mackenzie Hughes (Can) 71 72 66

210 Nick Watney 71 66 73, Jason Dufner 70 72 68, Byeong-Hun An (Kor) 76 66 68, Ryan Palmer 70 72 68, Brandon Hagy 70 71 69, Cameron Davis (Aus) 70 67 73, Maverick McNealy 70 69 71, Billy Horschel 73 67 70, Jhonattan Vegas (Ven) 70 71 69

211 Sepp Straka (Aut) 70 67 74, Gary Woodland 70 67 74, Kyoung-hoon Lee (Kor) 69 71 71, Jamie Lovemark 69 69 73, Kevin Streelman 69 70 72, Richy Werenski 70 68 73, Grayson Murray 73 68 70, Shane Lowry (Irl) 69 69 73, Jimmy Walker 72 69 70, Cameron Tringale 67 72 72

212 Kurt Kitayama 70 71 71, Kramer Hickok 73 70 69, Hudson Swafford 70 69 73, Harry Higgs 72 68 72, Beau Hossler 70 71 71, Ian Poulter (Eng) 70 70 72, Patrick Rodgers 69 71 72, Tom Lewis (Eng) 66 75 71, Harris English 66 74 72

213 Vaughn Taylor 71 71 71, Matthew NeSmith 71 72 70, Aaron Wise 71 70 72, Christopher Baker 70 73 70, Stewart Cink 73 69 71, Wyndham Clark 68 74 71, Adam Long 71 68 74, Brice Garnett 72 69 72

214 Matthew Wolff 72 70 72, Bud Cauley 70 72 72, Mark Anderson 71 72 71

215 Talor Gooch 71 69 75, Harold Varner III 69 70 76, Matt Jones (Aus) 70 73 72, Dylan Frittelli (Rsa) 74 69 72

216 Danny Lee (Nzl) 70 73 73, Sam Burns 69 71 76, Patton Kizzire 70 72 74

217 Sam Ryder 71 71 75, Brian Harman 71 72 74, Cameron Percy (Aus) 69 74 74

218 Michael Thompson 70 73 75, Scott Stallings 70 72 76, Zach Johnson 67 75 76, Austin Cook 72 70 76

219 Brian Stuard 67 75 77

220 Fabian Gomez (Arg) 72 69 79

222 Hayden Buckley 72 70 80

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