McDowell & Stenson five back heading into final day at Zurich

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Graeme McDowell / Image from Getty Images

Graeme McDowell / Image from Getty Images

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Graeme McDowell and Henrik Stenson combined for a six-under par 66 to move to within five shots of the lead ahead of the final round of the Zurich Classic in New Orleans.

With the field playing a fourball format on Saturday, the unlikely pairing’s round looked to be getting away from them when they both bogeyed the 12th to move back to three-under on the day. However, McDowell rallied, hitting it close on 13 to set up a birdie before spectacularly holing out for an eagle two from 90 yards at the par-4 16th.

Both Stenson and McDowell then frustratingly bogeyed the 17th but they took advantage of the par-5 18th in birdie fours to get home in 33 and now sit in a tie for 12th at 18-under par heading into tonight’s final round.

There was further good news for West Waterford’s Seamus Power alongside his partner, Canadian David Hearn as the great friends navigated their way around Avondale in eight-under par 64.

The duo birdied the 10th hole, their first of the day and dovetailed nicely thereafter to move up 10 places into a share of 21st at 16-under par.

At the top, Jon Rahm and Ryan Palmer shared the lead with Scott Stallings and Trey Mullinax as play got back on schedule on moving day.

Rahm and Palmer played 30 holes Saturday in the event delayed by rain for more than seven hours Thursday, finishing off a 7-under 65 in the alternate-shot second round and shooting 64 in best-ball play in the third.

“It’s been 4:30 four nights in a row,” Palmer said. “Dinners at 9 and back up at 4:30. Took its toll on me. Just feeding me sugar and food trying to keep my energy up. Tomorrow we’ll be on a lot of rest. If we’re on tomorrow in alternate shot, we’re going to be hard to beat.”

Rahm carried the team in the third round, with the Spaniard making eight birdies.

“He’s just fun to be around,” Palmer said. “He’s actually a great guy. I’ve enjoyed every second with him. When you’re up close and personal and watching it and see the shots he can hit around the green, you know, his short game is phenomenal. You can learn something from that, too, so I learned a lot. Honour to be a part of it.”

Stallings and Mullinax played 27 holes, shooting 70-62. Peter Malnati and Billy Hurley III were 20 under while Sergio Garcia and Tommy Fleetwood were another stroke back with the teams of Joel Dahmen-Brandon Harkins, Austin Cook-Andrew Landry, Hank Lebioda-Curtis Luck, Russell Henley-Ryan Blaum and Russell Knox-Brian Stuard.

Full Scoring HERE –

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