Hoge, 28, played solid all day, making four birdies on his opening 10 holes, followed by six straight pars to keep pace with the leaders. Then, at the par-3 17th, he dropped a birdie from 40 feet to get to 15 under, and added one more at the 18th to take the solo lead. While it’s not a spot he’s found himself in many times in his previous 75 starts on tour, he remained optimistic.
“I just want to stay patient until I get hot. That’s what I say at home. That’s what I say to my caddie,” Kizzire said. “I told him, after I made double, I said, Well, I’m not trying to not mess up anymore. Sometimes you go out there, and you’re just trying not to mess up, which is a terrible mindset, but guys do it. So I went ahead and messed up and took advantage of the free wheeling after that.”
Six back is defending champion Justin Thomas, who carded a four-under 66 to get to 10-under 200.
He rode the momentum to three more birdies at the 14th, 16th and 18th to get to the clubhouse at 15-under 195, earning a spot in the final group on Sunday. A win would not only be the second of Kizzire’s career, but the second in his last four starts, the first coming at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in November.
Jordan Spieth posted his low round of the week on Saturday, a bogey-free four-under 66 to get to seven-under 203 for the tournament. That puts him nine back in a tie for 28th.