NORTON – (Staff Report from TPC Boston) – Since the FedEx Cup era began, only two golfers (Steve Stricker in 2009 and Justin Thomas in 2017) took a clubhouse lead at the TPC Boston after 54-holes on t0 win the Dell Technologies Championship, the second leg of the annual playoff schedule for the PGA Tour. Little known tour pro in Mexico’s Abraham Ancer hopes to join Stricker and Thomas tomorrow.
Ancer shot (-6) under par 65 in the third round of the tournament to record his third consecutive sub-70 (66-69-65) round, going out on Sunday with the six under par, then bogeying No. 12 before recording his final birdie of the day on No. 15 to stay even on his back nine and card the 54-hole lead.
Ancer leads last week’s Northern Trust Open winner Bryson DeChambeau who shot a tournament best 63 (-8) today to join England’s Tyrrelle Hatton at (-12), one shot off the lead. Justin Rose and Australia’s Cameron Smith are each a stroke behind the second-place golfers and only two strokes behind Ancer.
Dell Technologies Championship 36-hole leader Webb Simpson shot a (+5) 76 Sunday and now stands T-25th. Only Aaron Wise (77) and in 76th place and Whee Kim (78) and in 75th place had rougher days than Simpson who still remains in the top 10 players for projected FedEx Cup points.
The top 70 players after Monday’s final round at TPC Boston advance to the BMW Championship in Newton Square, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. The top 30 players in FedEx Cup points after the BMW Championship qualify for the Tour Championship.
Ancer’s best finish in 2018 was a T-4 at the Quicken Loans National (won by Francisco Molinari on July 1st). Ancer missed the cut at last week’s Northern Trust and has only won once as a professional, the 2015 Nova Scotia Open on the Web.com tour.
“I hit the ball real good today, especially,” said Ancer, who later noted he has dual citizenship in both Mexico and the USA where he was born. “Got the putter rolling on the front nine,” Ancer added. “Not so much on the back nine, but still hit the ball really well.
“There was a good stretch of holes out there on the back nine that you have to hit it really, really good, and I managed to do that. I’m very happy. Left a little bit there with the par on 18. I hit a really good shot there on my third shot and I think maybe I pulled it or gave it too much break. So I really wanted to birdie there. But other than that, I mean, it was really a good day.”
Today’s round almost assured Ancer will advance, not only to the BMW Championship b ut also the final event of the season, the Tour Championship for the best 30 players on the PGA Tour.
“I knew I had to play good this week, if not I was going to go home and relax,” said Ancer, whose family name is of Syrian heritage some 200-years ago he claims. “Either way is not a bad option.
“Obviously I want to keep on playing next week and, obviously, in Atlanta (site of the Tour Championship). But, yeah, I knew I had to play good golf in order for me to play next week. But I don’t try to put much pressure, more than I already have.
“There’s no way if you play sloppy you’re going to win out here,” said Ancer. “So, I know I have to put up a good score out there tomorrow. And I know if I follow my game plan and make some putts that could happen.”
The final round of the Dell Technologies Championship will be the last Labor Day Monday finish for the tour, as next year’s FedEx Cup playoff schedule is being juggled to finish in August. Monday’s round at TPC Boston will also mark the last PGA event in Boston until 2020 when the first-round of the FedEx Cup playoffs will return as the Northern Trust Open.