A bogey-free round, and seven birdies, catapulted Hensby – victor of the John Deere Classic in 2004 – into a share of the lead heading to the weekend. “Obviously there’s something good in there because I’m hitting some long putts coming in, but I’ll try to be as relaxed as I can”.
“In between (shoulder surgeries), I was trying to get back and play”, he said.
Ernst, who had five birdies, finished her second round with a double bogey for a 66, but was able to wide out that memory and play a solid third round.
“Actually, my shot is good, but I don’t make that (many putts)”, Choi said. Day started his round on the back nine, shooting a 4-under 32 there before closing his 18 with birdies on three of the final five holes for a 4-under 31 on the front.
“You always sit back and hope you get an opportunity in any tournament”, Hensby said.
Piercy covered the back nine in two-under 34 to remain on track for his third PGA Tour victory but will have to contend with a Sunday shoot-out as 15 players head into the final round no more than four shots off the pace.
“I played well. I gave myself a lot of chances”, Hensby said.
Shanshan Feng, Sarah Kemp and Dewi Claire Schreefel were tied for third at 6 under.
“I’ve played a couple of mini-tours here and there, but this is my first tournament in quite some time”.
“Four under in the first round and five under today…” “So we saw balls going in the hole, saw good shots…it’s not so much competing but kind of feeding off each other”.
Third-ranked Stacy Lewis was tied for 23rd at 5 under after a 69.
While several Australians are contending for glory at The Open Championship at St Andrews, another is making his comeback count at a PGA Tour event in Alabama. “Not anxious about locking up my card this week or stuff like that is another advantage”. That also was the only other time he held or shared a 54-hole lead.
First-round leader Sam Saunders, the grandson of golf legend and two-time British Open victor Arnold Palmer, shot a 70 on Friday and was one behind at eight under with Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo (66) and Charlie Beljan (64).
Adam Scott made three birdies on the far end of the Old Course and had a 67 to join a large group at 7-under 137 that included former Masters champion Zach Johnson (71), Marc Warren of Scotland (69) and Robert Streb (71).