Shawn Stefani stole the third round lead at the FedEx St. Jude Classic with a -4 under par round 66, despite carding a 7 at the par 3 eleventh hole.
Shawn Stefani / Lyons / Getty
Shawn recovered to birdie four of the final five holes to grab a one-stroke lead at -12 under par, but still it was that quad that was the talk of the FedEx St. Jude Classic tournament at TPC Southwind.
Shawn himself shrugged off the watery mishap at eleven;
“I hit a good tee shot on 12 and the drive on 12 is not the easiest drive on the course, and then the birdie on 14 is when I got more calm. I’m actually playing a lot better than I was in Tampa. Having the lead was great, but I’m more prepared with my game. I can’t worry about what Phil’s doing out there, Phil’s Phil. I’m just going to concentrate on what I’m doing.”
Just one shot behind in second place at -11 under par, is playing partner Harris English who had a more modest third round, at -1 under 69.
Harris said is was tough to watch Shawn struggle on the par 3;
“It’s tough to watch that, I don’t care who you are, but he brought it back beautifully.”
Three players are tied in third spot, Patrick Reed, Nicholas Thompson and Scott Stallings, all at -8 under par.
Phil Mickelson has made his intentions clear, with a move up the leaderboard today with his third round of -5 under par 65 and is now at -7 under par for the tournament. Five shots is a lot to make up but if anyone can do it, Phil can, especially if putts like the one on the second hole start dropping;
“I’ve played better each round and I’m encouraged by that, I had a few bogeys and I left a few birdies go, let a few shots slide. It’s certainly out there. The putt on two was bigger, it was going pretty quick but ended up catching the middle of the hole and going in. Five under was a pretty good score today, but not great given the setup. I could really get some glimpses of my game getting where I want it. Hopefully, I’ll put together a really low round Sunday and catch the leaders.”
Rookie Eric Meierdierks is also at -7 under par after his third round of -4 under, 66 which included a hole in one at the par 3 thirteenth hole;
” The 13th hole, 8-iron, spun back into the hole, always helps the putting stats, that’s what I was looking for. Probably going to get some calls with bar tabs I have to pay.”