The new season looks good on Tyler McCumber.
The 29-year-old is continuing to build off the best PGA Tour finish of his career with some momentum in the third event of the 2020-21 season. McCumber shot 6-under 66 Saturday to sit four shots off the lead at the Sanderson Farms Championship.
With 18 holes left to play at Country Club of Jackson, McCumber sits at 11 under, in contention for his first Tour title.
Coming off a second-round 69, McCumber started his day with three birdies and a bogey on the front nine to make the turn at 2 under. On the back nine, McCumber had a five-hole stretch that boosted him up the leaderboard going birdie-birdie-par-birdie-eagle on Nos. 11-15. McCumber’s eagle putt on the par-4 15th, his shining moment of the day, measured 60 feet, 10 inches.
McCumber also made an eagle in the first round on No. 11. He is the only player with two eagles in the tournament.
“I had to kind of hit a high soft driver in there because it was downwind, kind of playing firm, as well, and I hit the driver just right how I imagined it, landed soft, kind of near that front, I think just short, bounced up, and obviously from that distance you’re just trying to get the speed perfect, and I happened to get the line, as well,” McCumber said.
He ended his round with his second bogey of the day on 17 before finishing his round with a par on 18.
McCumber finished the day tied for the second-lowest round of the day, behind Cameron Davis who carded 9-under 63.
McCumber is in the midst of the hottest streak of his Tour career. The former University of Florida golfer missed the cut at the Safeway Open but bounced back in the Dominican Republic, finishing second at last week’s Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship, one shot behind winner Hudson Swafford. There’s something special about the event for McCumber. Last week’s finish was his first top-10 on Tour. His previous best result was a T-19 at the 2018 event, his first career start.
Since missing the cut at the Safeway Open, McCumber has carded rounds of 65-71-69-66-70-69-66. Playing with an active hot streak is something he’s learning to navigate this week in Jackson, Mississippi.
“Yeah, obviously last week takes a lot of energy out of you, in a good way, so always I’ve noticed it is kind of tricky the next week navigating sort of energy and focus,” McCumber said Saturday. “But I tried to enjoy it but not ride the high too much in regards to getting energy back and focus for this week.”
Last season on Tour, his first, McCumber played in 20 events, made the cut in 10 and his best finish was a T-20 at the Puerto Rico Open. In the sevens events he played after the Tour resumed from the 13-week coronavirus break in June, McCumber missed five cuts, withdrew from the 3M Open with a leg injury and placed T-29 at the Barracuda Championship. He also has three career wins on the Latinoamérica Tour.
McCumber, the son of 10-time Tour winner Mark McCumber, earned his PGA Tour card after finishing the 2018-19 season on the Korn Ferry Tour in the top-50 finish.
While he’s in a nice groove on the course, McCumber isn’t getting ahead of himself headed into Sunday’s final round.
“Yeah, absolutely, (there’s) a lot of work left,” McCumber said. “The course is getting so perfect. The greens are probably the best greens I’ve ever putted on. Obviously come out and stay patient and aggressive and kind of just try to do the same thing I did today, make a lot of birdies.”