Playing alternate shot in the third round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, past champ Bubba Watson and J.B. Holmes fashioned a bogey-free 4-under-par 34-34=68 to reach 11-under 205, up 21 spots on the live leaderboard to T11 and tying the low round in the clubhouse. UPDATE: With play completed, Watson/Holmes are T8 and eight back, while Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown shot the low round with 67.
This is Watson's 10th Zurich, first since T15 in 2013, and was a playoff winner in 2011. Holmes is making his fourth visit, first since 2014, and has gotten better each time (CUT/2009, T13/2012, T11/2014). They struggled to a 73 on Day 1 in alternate shot, but rebounded with 64 in Friday four-ball action to make the cut on the number. The momentum carried over into Day 3, with the duo circling four birdies at Nos. 7, 8, 13 and 18, walking off with a 4 at the par-5 18th from 7'1". Watson knocked in that one, and also birdie-3 at 13 from 7'0", while Holmes converted their first two for the good, both from inside eight feet as well. Watson, who entered the week ranked 192nd on TOUR in SG: Putting, kept the card clean with a 6'7" par-saver at the sixth, and an 11'11" par-saver at nine. Fifteen (of 42) teams have signed their cards so far with Watson and Holmes the only blemish-free lap. UPDATE: Leaders Blixt/Smith also shot bogey-free 68.