SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA – Hideki Matsuyama’s 3-under-par third round on Saturday left him three strokes off the lead at the Phoenix Open tied for second.
Starting the day in fourth in front of a TPC Scottsdale record crowd estimated at 201,003, Matsuyama carded five birdies and two bogeys, leaving him in a tie with Rickie Fowler at 10-under-par 203. Danny Lee shot his second 67 of the week to take a three-stroke lead.
Matsuyama finished second here last year and fourth the year before that. His shot-making had not been up to snuff recently, causing him to miss the cut at Torrey Pines, California, last week and raising doubts over the first two rounds here.
“My feel for the irons came back quite a bit,” he said. “My percentage of greens in regulation was better, but unfortunately some putts didn’t fall to cancel that out.
“My sense of the round is that my score could have been better, but it’s not bad going into the final round from this position, and I want to grind it out (tomorrow).”