Perhaps you enjoy golfers’ stories of perseverance and resiliency. Or maybe your pleasure are travelogues of intriguing places played and below-the-radar tournaments contested by unheralded competitors. Take your pick, because somewhere in there, the leaderboard at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship has delectable options.
If this is a week for long shot names to seize the opportunity, you’d have to say they are doing so with remarkable panache, too, because at the end of Saturday’s third round at Port Royal Golf Course, only two of the top nine names (Danny Lee, Peter Malnati) on the leaderboard have won on the PGA TOUR.
What’s more, six of those nine names are here on strong standing in the Korn Ferry Tour category (Taylor Pendrith, Lucas Herbert, Vincent Whaley, Justin Lower, Patrick Rodgers, Curtis Thompson). And then another (Patrick Flavin) who is in contention thanks to going old-school on us and getting here via a Monday qualifier.
Taylor Pendrith, statements
At times mid-way through the front nine, Flavin, who played his college golf at Miami University in Ohio, tickled the lead. So did Rodgers, who is 193 tournaments into a PGA TOUR career that has been lucrative, but somehow hasn’t produced a win.
But Rodgers doubled the par-4 11th and Flavin’s loveable story lost some shine when he failed to make a birdie on the back nine and bogeyed the par-4 18th to shoot 68 – 203 and slip into a tie for eighth. That opened the door for Pendrith and the hard-hitting 30-year-old from Richmond Hill, Ont., was more than happy to oblige, even if he felt almost apologetic.
“It’s hard to follow up a low round with another low one,” he said. Of course, there’s nothing to apologize for, because following up a second-round 61 with yesterday’s 6-under 65 – both days highlighted by back-nine 31s – puts Pendrith in position to get Canadian flags waving in Ontario.
Oh, and maybe shine the spotlight on Kent State and its beloved golf coach, Herb Page, because two of Pendrith’s mates from Ontario and Kent State – Mackenzie Hughes and Corey Conners – already own PGA TOUR wins and making a trio would be remarkable, to say the least.
Pendrith surely loved the topic – he and Conners are best friends and have been each other’s best man at their weddings, which was just a few weeks ago for Pendrith. Meg, the happy bride who stood just a few yards away from her husband’s post-tournament interview, is best friends with Corey Conners’ wife, Malory.
A new career as a mental coach, alongside some of the best golfers in the world to drag them to success and support them in times of difficulty. This is what Michael Phelps, the most decorated athlete in the history of the Olympics, seems to have undertaken (also in the name of friendship).
A great golf enthusiast, many now define him as the "secret weapon" of green totems such as Jon Rahm, number one in the world ranking, and Jordan Spieth, the Texan who, after a long period of crisis, is back in 2021 to amaze.
"He's a good guy, he's been through a lot as a sportsman and he's the greatest Olympian of all time with a lot of tricks up his sleeve. I'm not going to reveal what I asked him but I can say that he has helped me a lot in the last period.
" These are the revelations of the Spaniard Rahm. For the legendary swimmer, nicknamed 'the Baltimore Shark', important words also came from Spieth, today 12 / o in the world ranking. "The mental aspect is something I've worked on a lot with him lately.
I'm really lucky to have him around. Besides, he's a great lover of golf and having him now more and more in our world is an added value." This is the opinion of Spieth who yesterday, alongside Phelps, played the Pro-Am of the BMW Championship, the second event of the Play-Offs of the Pga Tour starting today in Owing Mills (USA), Maryland.