Bradley goes deep in the mud again, leads Wells Fargo by 2

Potomac, Md. – Keegan Bradley did nothing special on the week’s only easy scoring day at the Wells Fargo Championship, opening with an even par 70 that left him around the cut line.

Ever since the conditions got tougher, Bradley has been the best player in TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm.

Bradley posted the lowest score for the second Saturday in a row, a 3-under 67, giving him a three-day total of 8-under 202 and a two-shot lead over Max Homa in British Open weather on a US Open course style brought .

About 2 inches of rain has fallen since Friday morning, but the low-lying course near the Potomac River has held up well enough to avoid game delays. Temperatures dropped to the low 40 degrees Fahrenheit on Saturday.

“It felt like a Patriots playoff game in December,” said Bradley, who grew up in New England. “It was fun, but I’m glad it’s over.”

Bradley was one of four players to shoot in the ’60s. The scoring average was 73.7, the highest relative on the PGA Tour since the last round of the 2020 US Open at Winged Foot.


Despite only having one win in the last nine years, Bradley, 35, has been solid lately, with top-10 finishes in three of his last five events, including fifth-place finishes at the Players Championship a week later bad weather.

The number that catches the eye for a player whose putter has held him back, Bradley ranks second in the field in putting this week on the PGA Tour metric of strokes won. His key doing on Saturday is: 14 feet for birdie on the par-3 ninth hole, 21 feet for birdie on the difficult par-4 11th, 9 feet for birdie on the 16th and finally 8 feet to save par after he went into the bunker. to bunker on the lock hole.

“Today and yesterday were really good shots and really good putting. It’s rare that we bring these together and I’ve been adjusting that for the past two days,” Bradley said. “If I can just keep this going for a little bit, I’ll like my chances.”

A Bradley win would put him in the top 60 in the world and exempt him from the US Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts.


“It’s in my head,” he said. “I know what’s at stake.”

Jason Day’s retooled swing failed for the third day in a row. As the leader after 18 and 36 holes, Day began struggling with his driver before it spilled over to the rest of the bag. He found the same pond on back-to-back holes – a driver that never crossed dry land on the par-4 fourth, resulting in a triple bogey, and a 3-wood that hooked violently on the fifth.

Day seemed to lose his grip on the club as he hooked another 10-par-five into a water hazard on his second shot, despite having half a dozen gloves dangling from the ribs of his umbrella. He shot 79 to lose seven shots on the lead.

“Unfortunately, I just didn’t have my stuff today,” Day said. “I made a lot of mistakes out there and shot into penalty areas. It is in order. I’ll just have to come back to it tomorrow and try to find some positive things.

Homa shot a steady 71 while playing partners Day and Luke List struggled to find fairways and hit conservative approach shots for routine pars. In two holes he played even par, he went from a day two down to a two up lead. But consecutive bogeys on the back nine allowed Bradley to pass him.


The second-best result of the day belonged to Rory McIlroy, who narrowed the number and played on the other side of the court as the leader. McIlroy, the highest ranking player in the field at number 7, bogeyed his first two holes, made four birdies before the turn and finished with nine straight pars for a 68 that put him 2 under in sixth place.

“I think when you see conditions like that you have to be pretty optimistic about it and for me it was just grateful to be here,” McIlroy said.

Anirban Lahiri shot 70 and was four shots behind James Hahn (72), a former champion of that event, at his home base Quail Hollow, which is on hiatus this year to host the Presidents Cup in September. Matt Fitzpatrick was 3 under after a 71.

“It feels like I’ve just completed 12 rounds of a pro boxing match,” Lahiri said. “You fight everything. You fight against your body, the elements, the water, the cold, the conditions. Yes, it’s hard work and you just have to grit your teeth and grind it out somehow.



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Nate Jones

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