There’s a reason they call Saturday “moving day” on the PGA Tour. The third round of the Tampa Bay Championship saw the names at the top of the leaderboard move all over the place. The first page of leaders after the third round is markedly different than it was after two days.
Shawn Stefani, the leader after 36 holes is currently two shots off the pace heading into the final round, thanks to a three over par third round. Stefani started out on a sour note, with a bogey on his first hole. That led to a four over par 40 on his first nine holes. He got things somewhat under control on the back nine, which he played one under par to finish at four under after 54 holes.
Adam Scott would have loved to have Stefani’s round, as Scott was five over on the day. His round included seven bogeys compared to only two birdies. This had to be incredibly disappointing for Scott, especially considering the fact that his second round was bogey-free. With his poor third round in the books, Scott sits at one under par and five shots back on the tournament. That deficit seems to be almost insurmountable based on how hard the course has been playing.
Jason Dufner, who has one shot back heading into the third round, fired a three over par 74 in the third round. He was unable to get anything going on the greens, where he struggled mightily. His card was relatively clean compared to some of his competition, with two birdies, three bogeys and a double on the round. Had he been able to get anything at all going with the short stick he would be much closer to the lead.
Some of the blame for the poor play in the third round can be attributed the golf course and the conditions, which both got noticeably more difficult in the third round. At the same time, there were golfers that were able to minimize the damage and take advantage of the few opportunities they were presented. Those golfers made their way up the leaderboard, while many others went in the opposite direction in the third round.