Davis plays third round he can Love
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Things can change quickly on the PGA Tour.
In less than 24 hours, Davis Love III went from possibly heading home after missing a cut to firmly in contention and fighting for The Greenbrier Classic title Saturday morning after firing a 5-under-par 65.
"It was a nice morning and I made some putts finally," Love said. "Other than the last hole, most of the makeable putts, I made so that was the key."
Love had a chance at a 64 after putting his tee shot within seven feet of the hole on the par-3 18th, but his birdie attempt was just left and he tapped in for a satisfying 65.
For Love, the round not only puts him in contention for The Greenbrier Classic title heading into Sunday's final round, it also puts him in position to earn a spot for The Open Championship, which takes place July 13-20 at Royal Liverpool in Merseyside, England.
The Greenbrier Classic is part of the Open Championship qualifying series, meaning the top four players that finish in the top 12 (ties included) that are not already exempt will earn a spot for the Open Championship.
Love is not exempt and was tied for ninth entering the clubhouse following his Saturday round.
"I'm trying to get in the British Open," Love said. "If I win here, I know I get in, so I need to put a Stuart Appleby (59) on them tomorrow and take care of getting in the British and getting another win."
Love's tournament started strong Thursday with a 67 that had him firmly entrenched in contention, but struggles down the stretch Friday left him on the cut line at even par for the tournament following a 3-over 73 in which he fought the wind, which picked up in the afternoon session.
For much of Thursday, the cut line had actually been 1-under-par, but the tough winds in the afternoon session had many players struggling. Around 5 p.m., the cut line moved from 1-under to even, which put 89 players on for Saturday's third round.
"When we finished on nine, it had already switched to even and it looked pretty safe, but you never know," Love said. "Some guys went home and actually had to come back. I was pretty disappointed because I made some silly bogeys coming in to get back to even."
Finishing on the cut line put Love in one of the first twosomes off the tee Saturday and he took advantage of the 7:36 start. His round was played with little to no breeze and temperature in the upper 60s, which made for more than favorable conditions.
"There was almost no wind, and that's the big thing," Love said. "When the wind blows here, it's tricky. It's hard to get close to the pin anyway with some of these little corners that they stick it in. The wind here, it doesn't blow the same way all the time. It swirls around, so it's hard to figure out what to do and it's hard to get it close to the hole."
Love started strong, chipping in from the sand on No. 1 to get his day off to a fast start. He followed with birdies on Nos. 5, 6 and 9 while only needing 12 putts on the front to quickly move to 4-under.
If there was a down-side to his game Saturday it was missed opportunities on both the par-5s on the back nine. He settled for par on both par-5 holes and recorded his only birdie on the par-4 16th when he holed a 5-foot putt after a just flying the pin from 130 yards away.
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