A patient Henrik Stenson has a chance to win the Wyndham Championship on Sunday

By
Conor O'Neill
Times-News

Series: News Feature

Published: Sunday, August 20, 2017 | 12:10 p.m.

GREENSBORO -- Henrik Stenson stayed patient after dunking his tee shot into the creek in front of the seventh green for a double bogey and was "hanging in there" when he got to the 12th tee having dropped another shot at No. 11 on Saturday.

Now Stenson, leading the Wyndham Championship by one after a surge on the back nine, only has one more round to stay patient for his first victory since dueling with Phil Mickelson in last year's Open.

"Standing on the 12th things weren't going great, but I was hanging in there and kept my patience," Stenson said.

Patience has been tested of just about every player within five shots of Stenson's lead at 16-under. Webb Simpson is a shot back -- he hasn't won since 2014. PGA Tour rookie Ollie Schneiderjans is also at 15-under -- he won on the web.com Tour last year. Kevin Na's only PGA Tour victory came in 2011 -- he rounds out the trio that's one back.

MORE: Full Wyndham leaderboard

Stenson sits atop the leaderboard at Sedgefield Country Club with the coolness that earned him the "Iceman" moniker.

"I had to be patient. I felt very calm, though. I miss-hit the shots and I went for a big 7-iron (at No. 7) and didn't catch it by any means and paid the price for it," Stenson said. "I feel like I'm in a good place mentally, I've kept my patience this week and keep on doing the things I know I need to do to produce good scores.

"I haven't been in contention a lot this year, so it feels nice just to be up there again and I'm just going to try and carry on my game plan as I've done the first three days."

The 41-year-old Swede rattled off birdies at Nos. 13-15, and then sank a 10-footer for birdie at No. 17 to reach 16-under. His two-putt par at the 18th capped an eventful 4-under 66 -- the second straight round at that number after a first-round 62.

Simpson and Schneiderjans held one-shot leads at different points Saturday, but bogeys at the 17th and 16th, respectively, dropped them into chase mode for today's final round.

"Very hungry to win again, very hungry to compete week-in, week-out," said Simpson, a fan favorite. "So, yeah, it's on my mind a little bit but right now I've got dinner on my mind and got to come out (today) and do my best."

Na went through the mental hurdle of not being able to complete his backswing since his last victory.

"It's been a while since I won so I think I'm ready," said Na, whose third-round 65 was buoyed by birdies at Nos. 14, 15 and 17. "You know, a little slow start, bunch of pars. Stayed patient. Putts started rolling in and that long one (of 44 feet) on 14 was nice."

Johnson Wagner is the only player at 14-under, and if he keeps holing out shots from the fairway -- as he did from 97 yards out for eagle on No. 1 -- he'll have to be patient as his partner finishes playing those holes. Wagner's only victory came in 2012. Harold Varner III and Richy Werenski are three shots back -- neither has ever won on the PGA Tour.

Davis Love III also looms three shots back. With a victory, the 53-year-old would be the oldest player to ever win on the PGA Tour, breaking a mark set by Sam Snead at the 1965 Greater Greensboro Open -- when Snead won for the eighth time here at 52 years old.

Two years ago, Love came from four back to win and become the third-oldest player to win a tour event.

"The greens are soft, the course is in great shape. So, it's out there for the taking," Love said. "Maybe I can get a few groups ahead ... and throw in a low one and sneak up."

-- TAP-INS ...: Ryan Armour followed his second-round 61 with a 72. That means both players to shoot 61 this week -- Matt Every is the other -- shot 72 in their next round. ... Stenson's 62 is the only such score through the first three rounds. ... There hasn't been a hole-in-one yet, after there were four during last year's event. But Wagner recorded an albatross Friday and an eagle from the fairway Saturday. ... There has also been a hole-out for eagle at No. 1 each of the first three days -- Every did it Thursday and Bill Haas on Friday.

This article is written by Conor O'Neill from Times-News, Burlington, N.C. and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.