Valspar Championship 2021: Keegan Bradley, Sam Burns Tied for Lead After Round 3

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 1, 2021

Sam Burns tees off on the fourth hole during the final round of the Genesis Invitational golf tournament at Riviera Country Club, Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021, in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)
Ryan Kang/Associated Press

Just like the second round at the Valspar Championship, Sam Burns and Keegan Bradley are tied on top of the leaderboard through Round 3.

There was a two-way tie on top of the leaderboard after the first 36 holes with Bradley and Burns each sitting 12 strokes under par. The two Americans each shot 69 on Saturday to remain in front at 14 strokes under par for the tournament.

Burns is seeking the first PGA Tour victory of his career, while Bradley is hoping to win his first since 2018.

The rest of the field at the Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, Florida, will try to keep up in the final round with big names like Louis Oosthuizen, Bubba Watson and Justin Thomas trying to earn a place in the top 10.


Round 3 Leaderboard

T1. Keegan Bradley (-14)

T1. Sam Burns (-14)

3. Max Homa (-13)

T4. Ted Potter Jr. (-10)

T4. Abraham Ancer (-10)

T4. Joaquin Niemann (-10)

T4. Cameron Tringale (-10)

8. Charley Hoffman (-9)

T9. Brandt Snedeker (-8)

T9. Bubba Watson (-8)

T9. Troy Merritt (-8)

Full standings and stats available at PGATour.com.


No one on the course was better than Burns in Round 2 as he posted a 63, and he was able to keep that momentum with an eagle on No. 1 and a long birdie putt on No. 3:

Golf Channel @GolfChannel

😮😮😮 What a start for @SamBurns66 👏 https://t.co/yydkehnLUg


Rollin' on a Saturday. 🕳 The lead is now 2 and @SamBurns66 is all smiles. https://t.co/gDEqxtCDtK

He sat four under for the day through the first five holes to give him a solo lead and a lot of confidence. The rest of the round was relatively boring for Burns, however, with pars in his next 10 holes.

There was enough of an opening for Bradley, who trailed by three strokes for much of the day before coming through with a huge eagle on the 14th hole:


Bouncing back in a big way. 💪 @Keegan_Bradley gets within 1 with an eagle. https://t.co/xIUsrzzlax

A Burns bogey on No. 16 tied things up, while both leaders bogeyed No. 18 to keep it a tight race going into the final round.

There was also plenty of strong play outside the top two spots, with Max Homa remaining in contention with some of the best individual moments of the day:


Two holes later ... ... another dart. @MaxHoma23 is dialed in. 🎯 https://t.co/43nIfibwrl


How about THAT?! @MaxHoma23 finishes with an exclamation point‼️ https://t.co/APMQZPpyg6

He was a bit wild off the tee and missed some putts, but Homa still managed to card five birdies and an eagle with only one bogey. It helped him stay in third place going into Sunday.

Ted Potter Jr. shot up the leaderboard Saturday with his 63, tying the low score for the tournament:


14 one-putts thru 15 holes for Ted Potter Jr. 😮 He's 8-under today and moved up solo third. https://t.co/vGHwaQYkvb


Round 2: 73, T41 Round 3: 63, T3 You didn't have to remind @TedPotterJrPGA that it was Moving Day. 👏 https://t.co/CaIZYqitGu

Potter bounced back after struggling to a 73 in Round 2, although his one bad score could be enough to prevent him from contending for a win this week.

Thomas has taken a similar path this tournament, shooting 71 on Friday before coming through with a 67 on Saturday. His eagle on No. 11 featured one of the best shots of the day:


Valid draw from @JustinThomas34 to set up eagle. 🔥 https://t.co/rarYbmHauH

The No. 2 player in the world also had five birdies in the round, although his three bogeys continued his up-and-down play in Florida.

Thomas sits at under six for the week but will need more consistency to finish inside the top 10.

Dustin Johnson is even further down the leaderboard after falling apart down the stretch in Round 3 with two double bogeys in his final three holes. None of his first 52 holes of the tournament were worse than a bogey, but the end of his third round was enough to destroy his score.

The two-time major champion sits in a tie for 60th at even par, ahead of just four players who made the cut.

Johnson will have to take a back seat Sunday as Burns, Bradley and others battle for the win.