AVONDALE, LOUISIANA – APRIL 27: (L-R) C. T. Pan and Kevin Yu of Taiwan walk on the 18th hole during the third round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans at TPC Louisiana on April 27, 2024 in Avondale, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Chinese Taipei’s C.T. Pan holed out for an eagle two in the opening hole as he and partner Kevin Yu fired a third round of 10-under 62 in the Fourball format to stay in title contention at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans on Saturday.

The Asian duo sit in tied fifth place on 20-under at TPC Louisiana to lie three strokes behind 54-hole leaders Zac Blair/Patrick, who will take a one-shot advantage into the final round following a 60 to lead from Henrik Norlander/Luke List (62). Rory McIlroy/Shane Lowry (64) and Ryan Brehm/Mark Hubbard (64) share third place on 21-under.

“My performance today was quite up and down, but my second shot on the first hole went directly into the hole. It was a surprising shot for me, and it also gave our team a good start. Then on the front nine it was really all about Kevin. He performed very well,” said Pan, who is a one-time winner on the PGA TOUR.

Partnering up for the first time, Yu, who has three top-10s this season, is seeking to join Pan as a winner on the PGA TOUR and has been so pumped partnering his good friend and mentor. Yu, who graduated from Arizona State University, took the U.S. collegiate route based on Pan’s advice as the latter was the first from Chinese Taipei to study at University of Washington.

After the team’s fast start in the best-ball format, Yu and Pan combined efficiently to pencil down eight more birdies, including two over their closing three holes to put themselves in the title hunt on Sunday, which will revert back to Foursomes (Alternate Shot).

“We performed very well from the beginning today, especially when C.T. holed out on the first hole, which boosted our momentum,” said Yu.

“In fact, today was a very difficult day. The wind was quite strong, so it was actually but we were able to seize many opportunities. The back nine holes were steady. Although we didn’t score much, we tried our best on every shot and achieved our best score. We hope we can continue to work hard and perform well tomorrow.”

Yu and Pan will have some fond memories to look back to as it was 10 years ago that they were part of a four-man Chinese Taipei team to win the gold medal in the Asian Games in 2014. “Kevin and I have known each other for a long time. We also competed together in the Asian Games and achieved very good results. We have always been very familiar with each other, and we are not unfamiliar with playing team events,” said Pan.

“We are good friends and we also joke on the course. Sometimes I get a birdie first, and he would scold me and say I didn’t give him a chance to perform! He played very well, and I will tell myself to make birdie as much as possible. We have good team chemistry.”

Yu added: “It has been really harmonious all week and we all worked hard to hit every shot. Tomorrow is the last day. We played well and hope to continue working hard. Like CT said, just hit a lot of fairways and greens which are our strengths.”

Third-Round Notes – Saturday, April 27, 2024

WeatherPartly cloudy and windy.High of 82. Wind SE 15-20 mph with gusts to 30 mph.

Format: Teams play Four-Ball in the first and third rounds, and Foursomes (alternate shot) in the second and final rounds.

Third-Round Leaderboard

1Zac Blair/Patrick Fishburn637060193 (-23)
2Luke List/Henrik Norlander636962194 (-22)
T3Rory McIlroy/Shane Lowry617064195 (-21)
T3Ryan Brehm/Mark Hubbard617064195 (-21)
T5Four Teams   196 (-20)
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