To understand why an overdue 65 is exactly the shot in the arm Nate Lashley needed during the third round of the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship, simply scan his recent results.
For example, just three weeks ago Lashley finished fifth … in the Platte Valley Pro-Am. No disrespect to Scottsbluff, Nebraska, but not exactly the world’s grandest stage.
In fact, it’s been more than a year since Lashley went this low in a PGA Tour event. He had rounds of 64 and 65 during the now-defunct Military Tribute at The Greenbrier back in early September 2019.
But this week in Punta Cana the schedule offered up a familiar golf course — one on which Lashley has enjoyed success. He won a Korn Ferry Tour event at Corales in 2017, his first victory on that tour after winning three PGA Tour Latinoamérica titles in 2016.
Again, Lashley found the Dominican breezes to his liking on Saturday, using an incredible stretch of six birdies in eight holes to move to 12 under and within a few shots of the leaders through three rounds.
What about Corales is so inviting to Lashley?
“I feel like it’s a good second-shot golf course and I think that’s a good strength of my game. When I’m hitting my irons well, I feel like on a course like this I’m going to have a chance to finish well. I like that you hit some fairways and then if you have a chance to hit some irons in close. I like that.”
Lashley, who has the 2019 Rocket Mortgage Classic title on his resume, had made just two of his last dozen cuts heading into the Dominican Republic, but he was resourceful in climbing the leaderboard on Saturday. Even when the University of Arizona product was off-target he found a way to get back into position, converting on all five scramble opportunities.
“Yeah, I mean scrambling’s always key. When you can get up and down
and save those pars or save the birdies when you’re up around par 5s, that’s huge,” he said. “That’s where you turn in a 7-under round or that can go to a 3- or 4-under round, that’s a big difference when you get up and down five out of five times. So that’s when you have some great scores, and hopefully, I can continue that tomorrow.
“I’ve been hitting it well. The first three rounds, I hit it pretty well and
the first couple rounds, played good. Second round just, you know, one of those days where you play pretty well, but you only shoot 1 under. Could have been three 3 or 4 under pretty easy. That’s the way golf is. I’m playing well, I feel better, body feels better physically. So, you know, just come out tomorrow and try to continue what I’m doing and see what happens.”