SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — It’s been an eventful journey for Brandon Wu to his Korn Ferry debut here in Springfield, Missouri.
From a National Champion at Stanford, to five PGA Tour starts this year on sponsorship exemptions, to what would have been his Korn Ferry debut in Denver but he tested positive for COVID-19.
So instead, his debut comes here. But now, those are in the past and all that matters is the weekend ahead for the leader at Price Cutter here on Saturday.
After a second round 63 launched Wu into 1st, his third round seemed a bit more tame.
A birdie miss on the 1st led off a front nine that saw eight pars and a single birdie, but he wasn’t alone with a slow start.
Daniel Sutton began tied 5th and went even par through the first seven holes, but the fellow Korn Ferry newcomer started to making moves after that.
A birdie on eight helped him go four under the rest of the day to finish tied 2nd at 15-below par and earn a spot in Sunday’s final grouping.
“I came out this week just to have fun,” Sutton said. “I play my best golf when I’m just out there enjoying it, whatever I’m doing. I know I can compete. I know I can win this. I’m happy where I am. I wouldn’t say I’ve exceeded expectations because I know I can win and I’m just happy to be where I am.”
But while he was making progress on the back nine, so was Wu.
A birdie on the 11th started a three under back half ending with this birdie on 18 for a bogey-less round of 68.
That put him in the clubhouse still in 1st at 18 under, now with a three stroke lead heading into championship Sunday.
“I felt like If I went out and played well, that I would definitely have a chance to win so I was kind of just focusing on that,” Wu said. “So I’ve played well the first three days and hoping for one more good one tomorrow.”
But he wasn’t alone closing out the round well on 18.
In the same group, Michael Arnaud drained this eagle putt to jump into a three-way tie for second at 15 under.
“The last two days, that hole has kind of handed me some pretty bad luck so it was nice to finally get a little bit back there on that last hole,” Arnaud said. “But yeah, kind of missing the crowd noise. Would’ve been some nice shouting going on, pretty sure.”