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Former BYU teammates Blair and Fishburn lead Zurich; McIlroy, Lowry fall two back

Former BYU teammates Blair and Fishburn lead Zurich; McIlroy, Lowry fall two back

AVONDALE, La. — Former BYU teammates Patrick Fishburn and Zach Blair shot a 12-under 60 in better-ball play Saturday to take the third-round lead in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, the PGA Tour’s only team event.

At 23-under 193, Fishburn and Blair had a one-stroke lead over Luke List and Henrik Norlander, with the Irish duo of Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry — tied for the lead after each of the first two rounds — two strokes back.

Fishburn and Blair, both winless on the PGA Tour, have been playing golf together since their junior high school days in Ogden, Utah.

“It’s kind of why you’re out here playing is to have opportunities like this,” Blair said. “I’ve been out here a handful of years now, so I know that they don’t come that often, and so we’ll do our best to go take advantage of it.”

Fishburn had three birdies and an eagle on the first five holes at wind-swept TPC Louisiana, where the wind gusted to 25 mph. Windy conditions are also expected for Sunday for the alternate-shot finale.

List and Norlander had a 62. List eagled the second and 11th holes.

“We just got in a really good rhythm early,” Norlander said. “I felt like we were both hitting fairways. Not necessarily hitting it really close, but it felt like early we had two chances on every hole.”

McIlroy and Lowry shook off a slow start to birdie seven of their last 12 holes. They shot 64 to join Ryan Brehm and Mark Hubbard, who also had a 64, at 21 under. Canadians Nick Taylor and Adam Hadwin topped the group at 20 under.

Zurich Classic of New Orleans  - Round Three
Zurich Classic of New Orleans - Round Three

Zurich Classic of New Orleans final-round tee times and pairings

Tee times and pairings for the finale on Sunday at TPC Louisiana.

“Look, it was a tough day,” McIlroy said. “Birdies were a little harder to come by today than they were on Thursday in the better-ball format. I think today was about staying patient knowing that the course was going to present some opportunities, especially on that back nine.”

Fishburn and Blair were a stroke off the tournament record.

“Just kind of rode Fish all day,” Blair said. “He played good. I mean, it was pretty textbook out there for him.”

They made the turn in 7-under 29 and birdied five of the first six holes on the back nine before finishing with three pars.

“It’s pretty easy to hit shots when Zac is always in the fairway, always on the green,” Fishburn said. “We ham-and-egged it really good today.”