DETROIT — The birdies came fast and furious during the third round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic on Saturday, a theme that has been followed all week at the inaugural PGA Tour event.
No one, though, has enjoyed it more than Nate Lashley.
The longtime touring pro fired his second 9-under 63 of the week on Saturday to put him at 23-under for the tournament, six shots better than his closest competitor as he closes in on his first PGA Tour victory.
Lashley opened on Thursday with a 63, followed that in round two with a 67 before adding another bogey-free round on Saturday to take the commanding lead.
J.T. Potson sits six shots back at 17-under after a 66 in the third round. Cameron Tringale is seven behind at 16-under while 2018 Masters champions Patrick Reed moved to 15-under after his third-round 65, his best round of the week.
While many of the tournament’s big names missed the cut — world No. 2 Dustin Johnson, U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland and two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson — Lashley is quickly gaining plenty of support around Detroit Golf Club. Playing this season with conditional status, Lashley entered the week ranked No. 353 in the world.
In fact, he played in the Monday qualifier and failed to make the field after a 4-under 68. However, he was still the third alternate, and after a handful of withdrawals, he was the final player in the field.