GEORGIA (Reuters) – Will MacKenzie produced a roller-coaster, birdie-bogey-birdie finish to share the lead with fellow American Andrew Svoboda after the third round of the $5.6 million McGladrey Classic at Sea Island in Georgia on Saturday.
MacKenzie, who had delivered the shot of the day with a spectacular ace at the par-three sixth, fired a five-under-par 65 in ideal scoring conditions on the Seaside Course to post a 12-under total of 198.
In pursuit of his third career victory on the PGA Tour, the 40-year-old from North Carolina ended the round with a flourish by draining a monster putt from 44 feet at the par-four last.
“That was huge,” a beaming MacKenzie told Golf Channel of his unexpected birdie to close. “My caddie, he actually redeemed himself on 18. He said ‘it’s about time for Willy Mac to drop a bomb.’
“And I go, ‘Yeah, we haven’t really made any bombs this week.’ So he got me thinking and obviously I hit it hard enough. I just got lucky there but it feels great.
“After butchering 17, that’s huge momentum for me. Dinner will taste better,” added MacKenzie, who has not triumphed on the PGA Tour since the 2008 Viking Classic.
His birdie on 18 left him in a tie at the top with journeyman Svoboda, who rebounded from a double-bogey at the 11th with three birdies in the last six holes for a 66.
Fellow American Russell Henley, the overnight leader who is also seeking a third win on the U.S. circuit, was alone in third at 11 under after carding a three-birdie 68.