McDowell cards seven consecutive 3s in a moving day 67 in Hawaii

Graeme McDowell (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

Graeme McDowell wrote down just one number for seven consecutive holes on moving day at the Sony Open in Hawaii.

McDowell, who started his third round on Waialae Country Club’s back nine, went 3-3-3-3-3-3-3 on holes 16-4, playing the seven-hole stretch in 6 under par, with four birdies, two pars, and an eagle.

Unfortunately, Gmac bookended the stretch with a trio bogeys for to erase half his hard work. The 67 moved the Portrush man up twenty places to a tie for 23rd ahead of tonight’s final round.

At the top, Brendan Steele had a moving day to remember as he went from a share of the lead to three shots behind through four holes. He had one birdie on his card. And then he hit his best shot of the day and seized control of the Sony Open.

Steele hit a 4-iron from 210 yards into a left-to-right wind that he had to turn over to get to a flag on the left side of the green. He hit it to 8 feet for eagle, and he was on his way. “I needed to really hit it solid, and hit it well, and turn it over,” Steele said. “Did all those things and it ended up being the right number.”

He played the final 10 holes in 7 under, and the number that mattered was 12-under 198, and a three-shot lead over Cameron Smith of Australia going into the final round.

Steele had a share of the lead to start the day, with 23 players separated by three shots. Now only Smith is within three of the lead, and he had to work hard to stay that close. Smith birdied four of his last five holes for a 66. Steele is going for his fourth PGA TOUR victory, and his first since repeating at the Safeway Open in the fall of 2017.

Webb Simpson carded a 66 and was five shots behind, along with former Sony Open winner Ryan Palmer and Collin Morikawa, who each had a 68.

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