AT&T Byron Nelson 2018: Marc Leishman, Aaron Wise Tied for Lead After Saturday

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 20, 2018

Marc Leishman, of Australia, hits off the third tee during the third round of the AT&T Byron Nelson golf tournament in Dallas Saturday, May 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Eric Gay')
Eric Gay/Associated Press

Marc Leishman and Aaron Wise remain the class of the 2018 AT&T Byron Nelson in Dallas.

Leishman carded a two-under 69 and Wise recorded a three-under 68, as the pair sit in a tie for first place at 17 under following Saturday's third round. They are four strokes ahead of Matt Jones and Kevin Na, who will be paired in the penultimate group in Round 4.

Jimmy Walker and Brian Gay round out the top five at 12 under.

Leishman and Wise built their lead on the back of stellar early rounds. Leishman is looking for a wire-to-wire win after his first-round 61 put him at the head of the pack. The 34-year-old said the course is getting harder to play as the weekend progresses. 

"Very different conditions today," Leishman said, per Christopher Powers of Golf Digest. "The course is firming up, a lot windier and a different situation, few more people out there today. So, really happy with the way I fought back today after a pretty slow start."

After gaining more than three strokes Thursday and four strokes Friday on the greens, Leishman was less efficient with his putter in Round 3. His 1.5 strokes gained were still good but not enough to separate himself from Wise, who had a better ball-striking day.

"Going out today I almost felt like I had expectations," Wise said. "Which is crazy, because I've only been there once before. I felt like I expected a little bit more out of myself. I think I put a little too much pressure on myself early. I turned in two under, which I thought was a little bad, because the front nine is what you need to get around here, but taking that aside I felt like I did great on the back nine."

Wise, 21, is playing the best golf of his career. He finished second last week at the Wells Fargo Championship and is in his first year on tour after earning his card with a win at the 2017 Air Capital Classic.

Leishman is looking for his first win since the 2017 BMW Championship. He recorded two of his three PGA Tour wins in 2017 and is currently slotted to move up to ninth on the FedEx Cup standings if the tournament ended at 54 holes.

Among the notables taking a slide Saturday was Adam Scott, who sits in 19th place at nine under following a one-over 72. Scott had recorded a 67-65 over the first two rounds and was seemingly in contention to get his first win since the 2016 WGC-Cadillac Championship. 

Jordan Spieth is in a tie for 29th at seven under. He carded an even-par 71 on Saturday. 

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