Sat May 28 06:28pm EDT
IRVING, Texas - Moving day at the HP Byron Nelson Championship was more about maintaining than making a charge up the leaderboard. On a day when temperatures at the TPC Four Seasons course topped 104 degrees with the heat index, players had to contend with something even more sinister than the blistering sun.
With the winds kicking up early in the afternoon, groups going off later in the day had to contend with gusts that constantly blew anywhere between 25-39 mph throughout the day, forcing the entire field to be content with par in the third round.
The only problem was there were very few pars on the course to begin with. Of the 75 players left in the field, only 8 managed to break par on the day, with Arjun Atwal posting a 3-under 67 for Saturday's lowest round.
Aussie Steven Bowditch had one of the more incredible third round swings, as he followed up a 5-under 65 in the second round with an 80, a 15 shot swing that had him shaking his head as he walked off the course.
He wasn't the only one frustrated with the winds, as the final four groups on the course posted a combined 30-over for the day. For the most part, anything around 2-over on Saturday was considered a decent score.
"It's tough, it's just a hard golf course," said Joe Ogilvie. "The wind is blowing 25 to 30 and you've got stuff all over the place. ... It's an exceedingly difficult golf course, and we're pretty good players ... but it's making us look like amateurs."
The bad news for the players is that Sunday's forecast isn't supposed to be any better. With temperatures predicted in the mid-90's and wind gusts expected to be at least 20 mph, there's a good chance the winner of this year's tournament could come from a player in an early group that posts a good number and waits things out.
It's never an easy proposition to win a tournament on the PGA Tour, but with way the wind is blowing at the moment, the winner of the tournament will have to feel extra good about grinding out a win under extremely difficult conditions.