GOLF: Arnaud trails co-leaders by 1

Published 7:20 pm Saturday, May 19, 2018

Playing the most important round of golf in his life was not more than Michael Arnaud could handle Saturday in the third round of the Tour’s BMW Pro-Am in Greenville, South Carolina.

Now he is going to have to come back with an even stronger performance under even greater pressure on Sunday.

Arnaud, after making a bogey on his first hole of the day — the par 4, 10th at the Furman University Golf Course — rebounded to shoot a five-under-par 65. His 54-hole total of 19-under 194 leaves him outright third, one shot behind co-leaders Robby Shelton and Bhavik Patel.

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The stakes will be enormous for the West Orange-Stark ex. With only conditional access to play on the, he needs a victory to get what is called a battlefield promotion that would provide exempt status through 2019.

Otherwise he can get into only occasional events, often after sweating out being an alternate like he did this week.

“I like my chances. I am in a good place with my game,” Arnaud said Saturday afternoon. “I feel really good about how I played today and the final round is back on the Thornblade Club course where I shot 60 on Friday. As best I can remember, I played it twice in 2016 and shot 6-under and 5-under.

“It is a course that fits my eye and has good vibes for me. There is going to be pressure but once I get out there and get in the flow I will be fine. The tough part will be the waiting and the lead up to the round. But it’s just golf and I am playing and putting well.”

In backing up Friday’s 60, Arnaud did what rarely happens after a lights-out round, and went low again. He did it by making six birdies and no bogeys after the first hole. Four of the birdies came over his final six holes, with three straight at 4, five and 6, then finished with birdie at 9.