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Nicolai Hojgaard, Sam Stevens share lead at Corales Puntacana

Jul 14, 2022; St. Andrews, SCT; Nicolai Hojgaard tees off on the third hole during the first round of the 150th Open Championship golf tournament at St. Andrews Old Course. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

Denmark’s Nicolai Hojgaard shot a bogey-free 6-under-par 66 to share the lead after the third round Saturday of the Corales Puntacana Championship in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

Hojgaard is tied at 14-under 202 with American Sam Stevens, who sandwiched a birdie between two bogeys in his final three holes at Corales Golf Course to fall back into a share of the lead at the PGA Tour event.

Hojgaard recorded birdies at Nos. 4, 6, 8, 12, 14 and 15. He had shot a 65 on Friday to tie for fourth after two rounds.

“It was stress-free like the second round,” he said. “Another day where I felt quite calm out there game-wise. A lot of wind obviously, but I had good control, so really happy with the round.”

Hojgaard, who turned 22 on March 12, has made one cut in seven PGA Tour events and has two international wins since 2021. He said his mindset for Sunday’s final round is to be disciplined and patient.

“A lot can happen on the last few holes,” Hojgaard said. “If you’re a bit behind, it doesn’t matter. If you’re a bit in front, you still need to be disciplined. That’s basically it. It’s about giving yourself a few chances and see what you have.”

Stevens notched an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole and added birdies on Nos. 7, 8, 14 and 17 along with bogeys at 16 and 18 for a 68. Stevens said he had a “pretty steady” day.

“I made some putts on the front nine and then yeah, gave myself a couple opportunities that I took advantage of,” he said. “And I played pretty good on the back. Sixteen, I kind of misjudged the wind and sliced it and made a bogey there. Then 18 I just hit a bad iron shot, but that was really my worst swing of the day. I felt pretty good about everything else.”

England’s Matt Wallace, who led after two rounds at 11 under, shot a 70 and is tied for third place at 13 under with Wyndham Clark (69), Tyler Duncan (67) and Belgium’s Thomas Detry (65).

Wallace, 32, who is seeking his first PGA Tour victory, made double bogey on the par-4 third hole and bogey on the par-4 13th, in addition to birdies at Nos. 5, 7, 10, 12 and 14.

Three players are two strokes behind the co-leaders at 12 under: Austin Eckroat (66), Ricky Barnes (66) and France’s Martin Trainer (65).

Defending champion Chad Ramey of the United States withdrew from the tournament due to a back injury after shooting a 71 on Thursday.

–Field Level Media

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