The final eighteen holes of the 2023 Honda Classic round 3 highlights, Chris Kirk leading the field by two strokes on -13. As we head into today’s final round, it’s an all-American top three with Eric Cole sitting two shots behind in second place and second-round leader Justin Suh sitting one further shot back.
Following a stunning second-round display where Chris Kirk almost shot the course record with a flawless round of 62, he held the hot hand as the players took on yesterday’s third round.
Kirk started the day one shot behind his compatriot Justin Suh but had the lead on the fourth hole. From that point, he didn’t look back, and birdies would follow on the eighth, eleventh, twelfth, seventeenth, and eighteenth holes. Dropped shots on the thirteenth and sixteenth meant that Kirk’s lead isn’t as big as he would have liked, but he will be confident of winning his first title in almost eight years.
With Kirk jumping into the lead, several players made the most of moving day and moved themselves into contention.
Sepp Straka and Shane Lowry battled it out for this title a year ago, with the Austrian getting the upper hand to win his first-ever PGA Tour title.
Straka had one of the best rounds of the day and moved to within six of the lead following a gritty 66.
Lowry will want to go one better than his second-place finish in this tournament last year and he has moved himself into a fantastic position following a superb third-round 65. Lowry headed into this week as one of the highest-ranked players on the field and he certainly showed all of his class yesterday. In comparison to those in and around him, Lowry knows how to get the job done and will be confident of overturning the four-shot deficit he currently faces.
Second-round leader Justin Suh had a poor day with the putter shooting an even-par 70. He still finds himself in a strong position but will need to rediscover his scoring touch if he is to have a say in proceedings today.
Chris Kirk will start the day as the overwhelming favorite for victory. Kirk has been nothing short of a birdie machine over the last two rounds and has put himself in a brilliant position to win his first tournament in almost eight years.
The main question heading into today is whether he can handle the pressure of having been outside of the winner’s circle for so long.
One man who will look to take advantage of any weaknesses in Kirk’s armory is Eric Cole. Cole is a name not known by most but the world number 330 has only dropped two shots in his last 36 holes to find himself in second place heading into today’s final round.
A graduate of the Korn Ferry Tour, Cole is playing in just his fifth PGA Tour event and this is the first cut he has made. A huge day awaits and it will be fascinating to see how he handles the occasion.
The most likely danger to all in the field is likely to be Shane Lowry. Lowry is twice a winner on the PGA Tour and is a former winner of The Open.
When it comes to winning big events, Lowry stands head and shoulders above his rivals and will be confident of overturning the four-shot deficit he currently faces. With winning form on his side, he could be the best value bet of the day.
PGA Tour’s 2023 Honda Classic Round 4 Odds from JazzSports.
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