Ludvig Åberg set a new career-low score on the PGA Tour at The RSM Classic with a bogey-free 61 featuring seven birdies and an eagle at the par-5 15th. He is the only player still bogey-free heading into the final day.
"I try to do the same thing every hole that I play, but sometimes it just seems a little bit easier. But I stayed patient today, I feel like I did a good job of that. Kind of the first couple three, four holes are not easy, so I stayed patient through those and made a few nice par putts. Stayed patient and luckily it paid off today.
"You get a lot of wedges on the back nine, you get basically all of them, and then 15's a reachable par 5. I felt like I was striking the ball well. I was hitting the fairways, apart from 14, but other than that I felt I was striking the ball well and kind of took advantage of a little bit easier conditions today."
The Swede retained the lead at 20-uder, his first career 54-hole lead/co-lead on Tour and first time playing in the final group in the final round.
Åberg turned professional following the NCAA Championship in May and became the first player to join the Tour directly out of college by finishing No. 1 in the PGA Tour University Ranking then went on to become part of the victorious European Team at the Ryder Cup in September.
Fellow rookie Eric Cole of the United States lies in second place at 19-under after also carding a career-low 61 with eight birdies, an eagle at the par-5 15th and a single bogey at the par-4 4th.
"There was definitely a lot less wind [today] and it wasn't gusting or bouncing around directions. It's the type of course, it's in perfect shape and if you are hitting good shots, you can definitely go on a little bit of a roll.
"I was hitting it well and the greens are very good. When you get it in there to makeable distance, they're not bouncing around or doing anything. I'm not sure if it felt easy, but it was definitely very welcome and I was happy with the finish."
Cole is the only rookie in the 2022-23 class who qualified for the BMW Championship, finishing No. 43 in the FedExCup standings.
The RSM Classic is the final event of consideration for the Arnold Palmer Award, given annually to the PGA Tour’s Rookie of the Year.
Canadian Mackenzie Hughes tied his career-low score on Tour with a bogey-free 10-under 60 featuring an eagle at the par-5 15th to move into third place at 18-under. He missed a 16-foot, 5-inch birdie putt at the 18th, missing a birdie attempt for 59.
"I probably give the nod to the putter. I gained five strokes putting, it's a pretty good day."
Americans Tyler duncan (62) and Sam Ryder (65) are fourth and fithth at 17- and 15-under.