PGA Tour

Singh 18 holes from shattering 'oldest' PGA record

2019-03-03 07:22
Vijay Singh (AP)

Miami - Fiji's Vijay Singh moved into contention to become the oldest champion in PGA Tour history by firing a five-under 65 in Saturday's third round of the Honda Classic.

The 56-year-old former world number one made six birdies against a lone bogey to stand on six-under 204 after 54 holes at PGA National to share second place, one stroke behind US leader Wyndham Clark.

"I played really well," Singh said.

"I played like I know how. I just let it go and the swing was a lot more freer. If I did what I did today, this is how I used to play. I don't know what I found, but I'm going to see if it's still there tomorrow."

Three-time major champion Singh, who turned 56 on February 22, would shatter the PGA oldest winner mark set by Sam Snead when he captured the 1965 Greater Greensboro Open at 52 years, 10 months, 8 days.

"I'm physically quite capable of doing it," Singh said.

"Mentally, I'm going to go out there and see how my mind works. If I just don't let anything interfere, I think I can do it."

Only six other players have won PGA events in their 50s, the most recent of those being Davis Love III in 2015 at Greensboro.

Singh owns 34 PGA titles but has not won one since September 2008 at the Deutsche Bank Championship on his way to capturing the US playoff crown.

Singh, now ranked 938th in the world, has enjoyed success on the 50-and-over PGA Champions circuit, taking three titles last year.

"Playing the Champions Tour, you've got to make a lot of birdies. It's all about making a lot of putts," Singh said.

"That brings, I guess, aggression out of you and you go out there and you know you have to make birdies."

In 2016, Singh shared sixth at the Honda Classic and was second at the National, but he has not cracked the top-10 in a PGA event since, making 36 starts with 22 of them ending in missed cuts, including both prior starts in 2019.

Singh could end the PGA win drought of more than 3,800 days in his 621st career start.

But in addition to fighting off leader Clark, making only his 19th tour start in search of his first PGA crown, Singh must contend with those alongside him in second, first-win hopefuls Lee Kyoung-hoon of South Korea and American Keith Mitchell, with US star Rickie Fowler another shot back on 205.

Singh won his first PGA title at the Buick Classic in June 1993 - six months before Clark was born.

Singh ran off four birdies in six holes starting at the par-5 third, his longest holed putt in the run from 18 feet at the par-4 sixth. After closing the front nine with his lone bogey, Singh sank a six-foot birdie putt at the par-3 15th and a seven-foot birdie putt at the par-5 18th.

Clark's best career PGA finish was a share of 10th last week at Puerto Rico that earned him a spot in this week's field.

"I played in some final groups as a junior and in college," Clark said.

"Obviously there's more people and more pressure. I like the moment. It's fun to play in that situation."

Leading third-round scores on Saturday from the PGA Tour Honda Classic at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida (USA unless noted, par-70):

203 - Wyndham Clark 69-67-67

204 - Vijay Singh (FIJ) 70-69-65, Lee Kyoung-hoon (KOR) 67-69-68, Keith Mitchell 68-66-70

205 - Rickie Fowler 67-72-66

206 - Michael Thompson 71-69-66, Jhonattan Vegas (VEN) 64-73-69, Roberto Castro 67-70-69, Adam Schenk 67-71-68, Brooks Koepka 67-69-70, Ryan Armour 68-68-70

207 - Kramer Hickok 69-72-66, Matt Jones (AUS) 69-69-69, Vaughn Taylor 70-68-69, Sergio Garcia (ESP) 67-70-70, Cameron Tringale 69-68-70, Kang Sung (KOR) 68-68-71, Lucas Glover 66-69-72

208 - Gary Woodland 72-70-66, Roger Sloan (CAN) 71-71-66, Harold Varner 72-69-67, Rory Sabbatini (SVK) 67-74-67, Jason Kokrak 69-71-68, Bill Haas 69-70-69, Nick Taylor (CAN) 72-66-70, Peter Malnati 69-68-71, Anirban Lahiri (IND) 67-70-71, Adam Svensson (CAN) 72-64-72

Read more on:    pga tour  |  vijay singh  |  golf

 

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