Golf

Byron Nelson Notes: Ryan Palmer within striking distance

Colleyville resident Ryan Palmer shot a “disappointing, frustrating” 2-under 67 on Saturday.
Colleyville resident Ryan Palmer shot a “disappointing, frustrating” 2-under 67 on Saturday. AP

Colleyville resident Ryan Palmer shot an up-and-down 67 that featured five birdies and three bogeys, but at 10-under he is just three shots off the lead held by Flower Mound resident Steven Bowditch heading into the final round of the AT&T Byron Nelson.

“The winds were a little trickier today, opposite wind than we are used to, which obviously made for a few holes to play different,” Palmer said. “The greens rolled nice, still soft, but it’s there for the taking because it’s soft and you have the ball in hand.

“If there is ever a disappointing, frustrating 2-under par, I shot it today.”

Palmer had minimal success early in his career at the TPC Four Seasons, making just one of seven cuts prior to his 2011 runner-up finish.

That year, he implemented the plan of letting his caddie, James Edmondson, select his club for every shot, and although they no longer use that strategy, he has made every Nelson cut since.

“There was one round in 2011, I shot 5-under par on Thursday and that kick-started me on this golf course,” he said. “I’ve had confidence playing this golf course ever since.”

Big movers

Saturday is known as “moving day” on the PGA Tour, as players who survived the 36-hole cut try to position themselves for a final-round push on Sunday.

Dustin Johnson led the Saturday march with a bogey-free 7-under 62 to finish two shots off the lead.

Brendon de Jonge had seven birdies before a bogey on No. 18 to shoot a 63 and vault up 30 spots on the leader board.

“From where I was at the start of the day to where I am now, it is obviously a big step in the right direction,” de Jonge said. “I think it will take another score like I had today to get this thing done.”

Brooks Koepka, Kenny Perry, Daniel Berger and Brandt Snedeker were the biggest movers of the day. Each of them propelled 35 spots into the top 20 by shooting 5-under 64.

Makeshift par 3

Due to the torrential overnight downpour that added 4.5 inches of rain to the already saturated TPC Four Seasons course, the 14th fairway was deemed to be in unplayable condition.

PGA Tour officials made the decision to play the normally 406-yard par 4 as a 104-yard par 3 for the second round.

No. 14 had a stroke average of 4.282, which translated to being the hardest hole on the course in the opening round. The makeshift No. 14 in the second round had an average of 2.73, making it the third easiest hole behind the two par-5s, Nos. 7 and 16.

Gary Woodland had a hole-in-one on No. 14 with a wedge in the second round.

For the third round, No. 14 remained a par-3, measuring at 108 yards. PGA Tour officials moved the tee box forward by one yard, but moved the hole location farther back on the green.

Cut casualties

The cut of 1-under became official shortly after 12 p.m. on Saturday with the completion of the second round.

The second round had been suspended Friday evening due to darkness and subsequently delayed until 11 a.m. Saturday morning due to inclement weather.

There were many familiar names among the 69 players who got the weekend off, including the past two Byron Nelson champions — Brendon Todd and Sangmoon Bae.

Local pros who missed the cut included Harrison Frazer, J.J. Henry, Brandt Jobe, Chad Campbell, former TCU golfer Tom Hoge, former SMU golfer Kelly Kraft and John Rollins.

The TPC Four Seasons course also proved too tough for past major winners Mike Weir (2003 Masters) and Geoff Ogilvy (2006 U.S. Open), who both missed the cut.

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