Chris Kirk topped the leaderboard of the 2023 Honda Classic after the third round on Saturday, February 25. The American golfer shot six birdies and two bogeys in the third round of the tournament. After firing under 8 to finish with a total scoring deficit of 13, Kirk is leading the tournament by two strokes.
Eric Cole settled into second position with a score of under 11, followed by Justin Suh, who was leading the tournament during the initial rounds.
Kirk was one shot behind the lead when he started the third round. He began the tournament with a birdie on the fourth hole and then again a birdie on the eighth hole. He made two consecutive birdies on the 11th and 12th holes, followed by a bogey on the 13th.
Speaking about his performance, Kirk said:
“It definitely made that a much more doable shot. It was a shot that I could have gotten up and down for sure hitting a flop shot from the rough over the bunker, but thankfully where I dropped was much more straightforward.”
He went on to say:
“The lie was clean, but that grass right there was kind of sandy and straight into the grain. That was why I chose to hit that kind of low driving shot, just to give myself a little better chance at some good contact. That was one where if I try to hit more of a higher pitch and land it on the green, I could have hit it right in front of myself. It was definitely a good break, but I executed a great pitch shot there and drained the putt, which was a nice way to finish.”
Chris Kirk made an eagle on Friday that helped him take the lead on Saturday. If he can maintain his lead on Sunday, Kirk can win the first tournament of the new year.
A look into the professional career of Chris Kirk
Chris Kirk turned professional in 2007 after the Walker cup. He had the joint second-lowest finish in the tournament while representing the United States at the event.
He began his journey playing on the Nationwide Tour and played three seasons between 2008 and 2010.
Kirk began his PGA Tour journey in 2011 after winning the Knoxville News Sentinel Open.
Chris Kirk won his first PGA Tour event at the Viking Classic in 2011, defeating George McNeil and Tom Pernice Jr. by one shot. The victory helped him qualify to compete at the PGA Championship, where he finished in 34th place.
He registered victories in seven professional tournaments, including four on the PGA Tour and three on the Korn Ferry Tour.
Kirk has also competed in all four major tournaments in his career, finishing in at least the 28th position at the US Open. His best finish was recorded at the PGA Championship in 2022.
Kirk reached number 16 in the world rankings. He is now leading the way in clinching the fifth PGA Tour trophy of his career.