First-round co-leader Patrick Cantlay holds a one-shot lead over fellow American Tom Hoge entering Saturday’s third round of the $7.6 million American Express PGA tournament after firing a four-under-par 68.
Will Zalatoris is among five golfers tied for third, two shots off the lead at 12-under par 132. Fellow Americans Lanto Griffin, Greyson Sigg, Cameron Young and Joseph Bramlett are also tied for third.
Cantlay began his round at the Nicklaus Tournament Course on the 10th hole and birdied the 11th, 13th, 15th and first holes before getting his first bogey of the tournament when he bogeyed the par-3 third hole. He also birdied the fifth and seventh holes and bogeyed the eighth.
“It was a solid day,” Cantlay said after extending his streak of consecutive rounds in the 60s to 21. “I didn’t get very much out of it. I hit the ball really well and then the wind picked up the last nine holes and made it a lot more difficult.”
Nine second-round leaders or co-leaders have gone on to win the tournament since 2000, most recently Hudson Swafford in 2017. Four second-round leaders or co-leaders have won in the 11 completed PGA Tour tournaments in the 2021-22 season.
Hoge shot a bogey-free 6-under 66 at the Stadium Course at PGA West. The 32-year-old entered the round among eight players tied for fifth, three shots off the lead, following a bogey-free 7-under par 65, matching Thursday’s low score at the Nicklaus Tournament Course at PGA West.
Hoge began play Friday on the 10th hole, birdied the 12th, 15th, 16th, second, fourth and fifth holes in pursuit of his first PGA Tour victory in his 201st start. This is the first time on the PGA Tour Hoge has played the first 36 holes without a bogey.
Zalatoris matched his career-low in his 39 starts on the PGA Tour with an 11-under-par 61 that included 12 birdies. He is the fourth player with a round with 12 birdies or more at The American Express since 1983.
The 2020-21 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year concluded his round at the Nicklaus Tournament Course with seven consecutive birdies.
“I just gave myself chances,” said Zalatoris, who opened play with a 1-under 71 at the La Quinta Country Club on Thursday, leaving him in a tie for 93rd, nine shots off the lead. “I hit a lot close and made a couple 20, 30 footers to keep the round going.”
Griffin shot a bogey-free 7-under-par 65 to match Argentine Emiliano Grillo for the day’s low score on the Stadium Course.
Sigg shot a bogey-free 5-under-par 67 at the Stadium Course. The 2020-21 rookie of the year on the developmental Korn Ferry Tour has not shot a bogey in his two rounds.
Bramlett had seven birdies and bogeys on his final two holes at La Quinta Country Club.
Sahith Theegala shot a career-best 10-under 62 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course in his 21st PGA Tour career start to move from a tie for 110th to a tie for 12th.
Jared Wolfe, the last player into the field of 156, had Friday’s low score at the La Quinta Country Club, a 7-under 65 that put him at 9-under through two rounds, five shots off the lead.
Rookie Lee Hodges, the other first-round co-leader, dropped into a 12-way tie for 12th, four shots off the lead after an even-par 72 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course with three birdies and three bogeys.
Spaniard Jon Rahm, the world’s top-ranked men’s golfer, shot a 2-under 70 at the Nicklaus Tournament Course to drop six shots off the lead at 8-under through two rounds.
Si Woo Kim of South Korea is also six shots off the lead in his attempt to become the first player to successfully defend his title at The American Express since Johnny Miller won back-to-back in 1975 and 1976.
Kim is tied for 32nd after shooting a 4-under 68 at the Nicklaus Tournament Course with five birdies, plus a bogey at the par-3 eighth hole.
Canadian Roger Sloane and Frenchman Paul Barjon are the only non-American players in the top 11. Sloan and Barjon are among four golfers tied for eighth at 11-under 133, three shots off the lead.
Cantlay and the 51 other golfers who played at the Nicklaus Tournament Course on Friday will play at the Stadium Course Saturday. The golfers who played at the Stadium Course on Friday will play at La Quinta Country Club on Saturday. The golfers who played at La Quinta Country Club on Friday will play at the Nicklaus Tournament Course on Saturday.
The field will be reduced to the low 70 professionals and ties following conclusion of the third round. The final round will be played at the Stadium Course.
Tournament host Phil Mickelson is among the players in danger of missing the cut. Mickelson is next-to-last at 7-over 151, following a 1-over 73 at the Nicklaus Tournament Course. The World Golf Hall of Fame member shot a 6-over 78 at the La Quinta Country Club on Thursday, equaling his highest score in his 77 rounds in the tournament.
Country singer Brad Paisley will perform a concert following conclusion of play Saturday. All tournament tickets for Saturday include admission to the concert. There are no concert-only tickets.
The concert area on the Pete Dye Stadium Course driving range will open to spectators at 3 p.m., with the concert expected to start at approximately 5 p.m. Chairs and blankets will only be allowed in designated areas.