Shane Lowry and Ian Poulter sported matching green-and-navy trousers for day three of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans but unfortunately they couldn’t spur the pair up the leaderboard at the pairs event at TPC Louisiana.
The European Ryder Cup duo could only manage an eight-under 64 in Saturday’s better-ball third round, which saw them drop one place in the standings to ninth and leaves them ten shots off the lead held by Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay.
While Lowry contributed most of their scoring in their first round of four-balls on Thursday, this time it was evenly split as both players served up four birdies in a bogey-free combined round, however that wasn’t good enough to take them up the leaderboard.
It was Lowry who produced the first birdie when he hit the par-five second in two, with Poulter then picking up a birdie at the par-three fourth after a fine tee shot to eight-feet, but the Irishman got them their next two birdies when he rolled in an eight-footer at the par-four fifth and then a seven-footer at the par-four eighth.
Poulter could have had them one shot better had he converted for birdie from six-feet on the par-five seventh, and it seemed like Lowry would be doing the lion’s share of scoring when he again scored the next birdie at the par-five 11th, but then the Englishman kicked into life.
An 11-footer for birdie dropped at the par-four 13th, followed by a stunning approach to three-feet at the par-four 16th yielded another, and he rounded things off by draining a 15-footer at the final hole to at least keep them inside the top-10 going into the final day, even if their hopes at winning are slim.
That’s because Schauffele and Cantlay show no signs of slowing having carded a 12-under 60 in their third round to hold a five-shot lead over the South African duo of Branden Grace and Garrick Higgo at 29-under-par.
The World Nos.12 and 4 respectively are living up to their billing with ten birdies – seven of which came on their back nine after it looked like they might wobble on Saturday – and an eagle, with Cantlay contributing five of those birdies and the eagle.
Eight birdies, an eagle and a bogey from Grace and Higgo have them second at 24-under after a 63, with Sam Burns and Billy Horschel, Jason Scrivener and Jason Day, and Aaron Rai and David Lipsky in a share of third at 23-under.