PGA Tour rookie Shawn Stefani must be breathing a sigh of relief. He managed to survive a quadruple bogey in the middle of his third round at the FedEx St. Jude Classic and hold on to take a one shot lead into the final day of play at TPC Southwind. He and Harris English seemed to be trading blows all day and the two will play the final round together.
The quadruple bogey at the 11th hole was the only blemish on Stefani’s card in the third round. He was out in 32 before the hiccup at the par 3, 11th hole. That happens to be the same hole that draws comparisons to the island green famed 17th at TPC Sawgrass. The wedge that he hit off of the tee caught a gust of wind and ended up in the drink. After taking his drop he landed on in the sand behind the green and was lucky enough to have the ball plug on him. His bunker shot was short and rolled back into the trap. Then he missed an eight-footer for triple and made the putt coming back.
Stefani was good natured about the situation, although I’m sure he wouldn’t have been in quite as good of a mood if he didn’t birdie four of the last five holes to take a one shot lead. “I feel like I hit one bad shot on 11, and that was the putt that I missed for a triple,” Stefani said. “I know that sounds crazy, but you know I hit the club that I wanted to hit. Unfortunately, was the wrong club at the wrong time.”
While he is a rookie on the PGA Tour, Stefani is no stranger to the winner’s circle. He racked up two wins on the Web.com Tour last year. His lone top 10 finish of this year came at the Tampa Bay Championship where he finished T7. The pressure he will face tomorrow is a whole different animal, however. Only time will tell if he can withstand the pressure.