2017 Sanderson Farms Championship: Ryan Armour leads by five headed to final round

Ryan Armour

 

Ryan Armour leads the 2017 Sanderson Farms Championship in Jackson, Mississippi by five strokes headed to the final round on Sunday.

Armour lead by one at ten-under after the second round, and increased his lead to five after a third round 67 at the Country Club of Jackson.

Armour sank a clutch 16-foot putt for par at the last to post a 5-under 67 and step out to a commanding five-stroke lead at 15-under 201.

If Armour hangs on for the win, it would be his first in 105 starts on the PGA Tour. Armour has one victory on the Web.com Tour, winning the 2016 Panama Claro Championship.

When asked what his strengths were this week Armour said, “Definitely hitting fairways, which out here is a must.  Giving myself as many opportunities as I can to make birdies. It’s hard to read the greens here, but if you give yourself enough chances you’re going to make some.”

For the second straight day, Armour made four consecutive birdies on Nos. 13-16. He made birdie at the par-4 16th by sinking a putt of 57’ 3”. His par-saving putt at No. 18 dropped from 15’ 10”, bringing his round total to 138’ 9”.

Chesson Hadley is in second place at ten-under after a third round 68. Five players are T-3 at nine-under par.

Before this week, Armour’s best position after 54 holes on the PGA TOUR was a T4 at the 2007 Valero Texas Open (T6) in his rookie season.

In his last nine rounds on the PGA TOUR, dating to the Wyndham Championship (T4), Armour has amassed 51 birdies and is a cumulative 32-under-par.

Armour is making his fifth start in the Sanderson Farms Championship, having never made a cut before this week’s event. His 5-under 67 in last year’s opening round marked his only sub-par score in the event before rounds of 66-68-67 this year.

Armour, who joined the PGA TOUR in 2007, made a return this year by virtue of his 11th-place finish on last year’s Web.com Tour priority list. On that Tour last year, he finished solo-second at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship in the Web.com Tour Finals.

Hadley is making his second start of the 2017-18 PGA TOUR Season this week. En route to a T3 finish at the Safeway Open three weeks ago, he posted a career-low 11-under 61 in round two.

Hadley is the winner of one event on the PGA TOUR, the 2014 Puerto Rico Open.

Notes:

*J.J. Henry withdrew after the first hole with a back injury.

*There were no bogey free rounds on Saturday.

*FedExCup Points: 300/winner

*Purse: $4,300,000 ($774,000/winner

*The last time a leader with a 54-hole lead of more than four strokes did not convert for the win on the PGA TOUR was at the 2015 World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship. JB Holmes led by five strokes before an ultimate Dustin Johnson victory at the Doral Resort & Spa

*Dru Love, son of Davis Love III (MC), shot an even par 72 to remain six-under and T-16.

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