Recap of the day
Early starters: Before the pre-round leaders had even hit the range they had been swallowed by a morning cavalry charge. Tony Finau thrashed a 62 to reach 15-under and Denny McCarthy joined him with a 63. As they reached the tee Pat Perez was finishing his own 62 to set an 18-under 195 target.
Leaders: Finau and McCarthy would become bit-part players, but Perez’s mark was a good one and by the end of play it was worth solo third. Sam Ryder (64) and Lucas Glover (66) are one behind him on 17-under, but two men, both former winners at TPC Summerlin, have escaped the peloton. Patrick Cantlay carded a 63 for 20-under 193 and Kevin Na a stunning 61 for a two-shot lead on 22-under.
Low round of the day: Na’s 61
Revised outright betting: Na 6/5, Cantlay 6/4, Perez 18/1, Glover 25/1, Ryder 33/1, Simpson 33/1
Sunday weather forecast
Much the same as Saturday (sunny, temperatures in the low 70s, no chance of rain) but with one exception: breezy at around 12 to 15 mph.
Leaders after at 54 holes
Kevin Na (61, 191) – A birdie barrage, ten of them in all, and he’s 19-under for his last 36 holes (and 21-under for his last 38). Ranks first for SG: Putting making a massive 11.905 on the field.
Patrick Cantlay (63, 193) – Six front nine birdies, four late on, but also a bogey. In contrast to Na, he ranks first for SG: Off the Tee, second for Tee to Green, but 45th for Putting.
Pat Perez (62, 191) – Seven birdies and an eagle-3 and he’s been superb on the greens the last two rounds gaining 3.872 and 4.632 shots (he ranks second for the week). Needs to hit the green, though, because he’s ranking 68th around them.
Fate of the Favourites
Brooks Koepka – missed the cut
Patrick Cantlay – see above
Hideki Matsuyama (68, 203) – Bogey-free through 36 holes and he maintained that for another ten holes on Saturday. Oddly, when he finally made a couple he also had his most productive nine for birdie-making (four). Still ranks low (64th) for SG: Putting.
Adam Scott (65, 198) – Seven birdies as he makes over five strokes on the field via his putting, but doesn’t rank top 20 in any other category.
Kevin Na (61) – “Still got to keep the pedal to the metal. A lot of low scores out here. Anybody can shoot 8- or 9-under. I believe there is going to be a little bit more wind tomorrow. If that's the case maybe you won't see 9-, 10-unders. I just got to go out there, one shot at a time, and post a good number."
Patrick Cantlay (63) – “It's a four-round tournament. It's what I expect out here - everybody can shoot the lights off this place, especially with the weather is like it was today. That's the attitude for tomorrow. It's going to take a lot of birdies. Fortunately, that's an attitude I'm comfortable with, and I'm looking forward to tomorrow."
Pat Perez (62) – “Both times I won I led the field in putting. I'm probably close to that, but it's going to take another good day tomorrow, make a lot of putts tomorrow, to beat everybody."
Road to victory at TPC Summerlin
2018/9 Bryson DeChambeau – R1: 5th, R2: 4th, R3: 1st
2017/8 Patrick Cantlay – R1: 6th, R2: 8th, R3: 4th
2016/7 Rod Pampling – R1: 1st, R2: 1st, R3: 2nd
2015/6 Smylie Kaufman – R1: 26th, R2: 48th, R3: 28th
2014/5 Ben Martin – R1: 19th, R2: 5th, R3: 1st
Notes: Kaufman is the odd-one-out. Since the tournament was reduced to 72 holes in 2004 14 of 15 winners were T5 or better at this stage. In contrast, Kaufman was not only T28 but seven shots back of the lead before he thrashed a final round 61.
Fate of the 54-hole leaders at TPC Summerlin – where did they finish?
2016 Lucas Glover 3rd
2015 Brett Stegmaier 2nd
2014 Ben Martin 1st
Notes: There have been 21 54 hole solo or shared leaders since 2004. Eight claimed the win and only four didn’t finish the week top three.
Focus on – Kevin Na
He’s had seven 54 hole leads and converted three into wins, four of those were solo leads and he earned two wins from them. The most recent example was May this year when he led by two in the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial and doubled the advantage in the final round. His win at Summerlin in 2011 came following a share of the third round lead; he stretched two clear. In seven Sunday laps at Summerlin he has never needed more than 71 blows, has four times broken 70 and averages 68.86.
Focus on – Patrick Cantlay
He’s been second heading into the final round five times and whilst he’s never struggled, always ending the tournament in the top five, he’s yet to convert a win. When he’s been two swings back of the 54 hole pace-setter he’s 0-for-2. He averages 66.00 in round four at Summerlin and, of course, has a magnificent logbook at the tournament: a winner in 2017, second last year, what will he add this year? He was T4 and four back when he won two years ago.
Focus on – Pat Perez
A seventh time that Perez has been third at this stage and he is yet to taste victory from such a position. Three times he has remained in the top five, three times he hasn’t (and in two of those he tumbled outside the top ten). In 11 previous visits to Summerlin he has missed six cuts and only found the top ten for the first time last year when seventh. He averages 68.60 in round four.