Low scoring pushes Lee Hodges, Paul Barjon to American Express lead heading into final round

Tom Hoge and Seamus Power have played well enough through three rounds of The American Express to be among the leaders at the tournament. But both Hoge and Power know they may have let a better chance at winning the tournament slip away Saturday afternoon.

“I would have liked a few more for sure, but there were quite a few tough holes out there,” Hoge said after a 4-under 68 that included just one birdie and no bogeys in his final 11 holes. “A couple tough par-3 that we had to deal with, a few tough tee shots, and there’s just enough wind and it’s moving around just enough that it was kind of tough to get the right yardage on all the approach shots coming in.”

With Hoge leading at 17 under and Power at 16 under in the clubhouse, they could only watch as Paul Barjon and Lee Hodges shot low scores on the tougher Pete Dye Stadium Course at PGA West on a breezy day to pass them up.

Playing together in the last group of the day at the Stadium Course, Hodges regained a share of the lead he had in the first round with an 8-under 64. Barjon shot 65, and the pair finished the day at 18-under 198. Hoge is alone in third at 199.

“It was tough early and (the wind) kind of died on our back nine a little bit,” said Hodges, who played his final nine holes in 6 under. “It was off and on, but it was a good wind for, like the easy holes were playing a little easier but the hard holes were hard. So you just had to make a couple pars and then get to those downwind holes.”

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Hodges opened the tournament with a 62 at La Quinta, but was hitting the ball just as well Saturday, he said.

“It was a great day. Hit the ball really well. I know it was really nice to see some putts fall on that back nine,” Hodges said. “I made three nice putts in a row there from like 10 to 12. And then just kind of really hit some quality shots coming in to give myself some easy birdies.”

Playing side by side with Hodges, who is ranked 312th in the world to Barjon’s 313th, Barjon played the final nine holes Saturday in 4 under to get a share of the lead. A rookie on the PGA Tour, Barjon is looking for his first win on tour, as are six of the top 10 players on the leader board. Barjon also played his way into the final threesome Sunday, where he will play with Hodges for the fourth consecutive day.

Paul Barjon plays his shot from the ninth tee during the third round of the American Express golf tournament at Peter Dye Stadium Course. Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

“It was great playing with Lee again for the third day. He played really good the first day, really kind of set the tone by making pretty much everything he looked at on the green,” Barjon said. “So that’s always good to see and just kind of

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By: Larry Bohannan
Title: Low scoring pushes Lee Hodges, Paul Barjon to American Express lead heading into final round
Sourced From: golfweek.usatoday.com/2022/01/22/lee-hodges-paul-barjon-american-express-lead/
Published Date: Sun, 23 Jan 2022 01:49:24 +0000

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