Rocket Mortgage Classic R2 – Golf Today

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Aaron Rai hits off the fourth tee during the first round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic

Akshay Bhatia produced a third-round bogey-free 68 to reach 17-under and hold on to his share of the lead heading into the final day of the Rocket Mortgage Classic. He is the only player in the field to remain bogey-free for the tournament.

“I’m still in this golf tournament,” said the American. “I wouldn’t say everything felt super sharp today, but I’m right there, excited to be here. Just fun, I love this. I said this last week and I said it this week, but I love the feeling of just all the adrenaline and fan support, so I’m excited for tomorrow.

Last week I was right there for a long time and obviously didn’t get it done, but I’m excited for this. This is what I want, I want to win. It’s just going to be fun whether or not it happens and just being in this position, it’s awesome.”

England’s Aaron Rai held the solo lead after his birdie at the 11th but allowed Bhatia to join him again with a bogey at the par-3 15th. He closed with a 68 to take his first 54-hole lead/co-lead on the PGA Tour.

“Played nicely again tee to green, felt like I drove it well,” said Rai. “The conditions today felt a little harder than what they did on Thursday and Friday, a lot more crosswinds. The wind was a little bit stronger as well, had a different direction of wind, which again always makes it a little bit trickier. Yeah, really pleased with how I played tee to green. Made some good putts within kind of 10-, 12-feet to keep the round going as well. Another good solid day overall.

“I think it was pretty soft even on Thursday and Friday. With the heavy rain that we had overnight and this morning, it definitely played a little softer. Had to control the spin with the wedges a little bit more even compared to Thursday and Friday, but I felt like we adapted to that pretty well. Had a couple of wedge shots early in the round that kind of gave us a feel for how the greens were playing moving forward. So yeah, it was different, but I felt we dealt with it pretty well.

“It’s always fun playing with Akshay. We know each other pretty well and it was nice today that we both played well and kind of kept the rounds going and kind of fed off each other at certain times. I think anytime you’re playing with someone in form, Akshay’s been playing some great golf as well over the last few months really, so I’m sure it’ll be fun tomorrow and I look forward to it.”

The start of the third round was delayed by a couple of hours due to heavy rain leaving standing water on the fairways and large puddles in the rough. Due to the course conditions players were allowed to lift, clean and place their golf balls in the fairways but did not get relief from 25mph winds.

Australian Cam Davis signed for a bogey-free 66 to move into a share of third place at 16-under alongside American Cameron Young who made a single bogey at the par-4 5th for a 67.

American Sam Stevens also shot a bogey-free 66 for a share of fifth place at 15-under alongside South African Erik van Rooyen who shot a bogey-free 68.

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