Dylan Wu matched the low round of the week with a 9-under 63 on moving day to draw even with 36-hole leader Alex Kang at 20-under 196 through three rounds at the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper.
Wu and Kang earned a two-stroke lead over Nicholas Thompson and Austin Smotherman as temperatures rose into the 90s with a heat index nearing triple digits at Highland Springs Country Club.
“My body was cramping up out there,” said Kang matter-of-factly. “Maybe I’ll go see a physio. I think the key is to stay cool, drink a lot of water. I drank a bottle per hole, but I don’t think it was enough. I’m sure some guys were drinking more.”
Entering the round tied for the lead, Kang rattled off three straight birdies to kick off his round and
finished with a bogey-free 65. The Las Vegas resident birdied all four par-5s on Saturday and remains the only player without a bogey (or worse) through 54 holes this week.
Kang is the older brother of LGPA Tour star Danielle Kang who is preparing to head to Tokyo to
represent Team USA in the Olympics. Alex Kang mentioned he talks to her every day, but they tend to let each other focus on their own games.
“She just said everyone peaks at a different time, so just stay patient and your time will come,” said Alex Kang of one piece of advice Danielle had given him.
While Kang is seeking a win to get within reach of a potential Korn Ferry Tour Finals berth, Wu is
attempting to breakthrough and earn his first PGA TOUR card. The 25-year-old Northwestern University alum entered the week 31st in the Korn Ferry Tour points standings and would lock up a spot in The 25 with a victory.
“I’ve just been close the last few weeks…It’s been a grind with the two-year season,” said Wu. “But for me, outside the top-25, I’m just trying to stay patient. This is the end of the season. This is the grind time and this is what we’re playing for.”
Wu has enjoyed a successful season with five top-10s, but his last top-10 came a year ago at this
tournament (T9). He did credit a recent resurgence to his experience at the U.S. Open last month where he made the cut and finished T31.
“Of course playing in the U.S. Open gave me a lot of confidence,” said Wu. “The weird thing was I was way more nervous today than I was at the U.S. Open the entire week which was surprising…My game plan [this week] was just to hit a lot of smart shots and give myself a lot of opportunities and I was able to do that.”
Wu has taken on his younger brother, Jeremy, as caddie over the last month as he strives to earn his PGA TOUR card. Jeremy Wu played golf collegiately at Valparaiso University.
Nicholas Thompson, the younger brother of LPGA Tour star Lexi Thompson, will join Kang and Wu in the final group. Austin Smotherman, a former collegiate teammate of Bryson DeChambeau and 2019 Price Cutter Charity Championship winner Harry Higgs, joins Thompson at T3 and will compete in the penultimate grouping.
The final round will run from 6:50 a.m. to 11:15 in threesomes off of the first tee on Sunday at Highland Springs Country Club.
• Saturday’s weather: Partly cloudy with a high of 92 degrees and wind SW at 5-12 mph
• The Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper is the 18th event of 2021 and
the 41st (of 43) of the 2020-21 combined regular season; Wu projects to move to 14th in the
points standings with a win while Kang would move inside the top-80; 22 of 40 third-round
leaders/co-leaders have gone on to win this season
• Defending champion Max McGreevy carded a 2-under 70 and sits T17 after the third round as
he looks to become the first player in the Korn Ferry Tour’s 32-year history to successfully
defend his title; five players have finished runner-up as they attempt to defend their title (most
recent: Lanto Griffin/2018 Simmons Bank Open for the Snedeker Foundation)
• Notable players on the bubble of the top 25 players in the regular season points standings with
three events remaining include Roberto Diaz (T6), Austin Smotherman (T3) and Dylan Wu (T1);
Diaz entered the week 23rd, Smotherman is 26th and Wu is 31st
• With a two-way T3 or better, Seth Reeves (-17, 5th) would pass the threshold of 1,650 points
that the Korn Ferry Tour is currently using as its fail-safe number to guarantee a finish inside the
top-25 at the conclusion and earn a PGA TOUR card
• Dalton Ward (-13, T17) made his first career cut on the Korn Ferry Tour this week
• Past tournament champion Dawie van der Walt (2015) sits T17
• The Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper is one of four events from the
Korn Ferry Tour’s inaugural 1990 season that still remain today with each tournament contested
at Highland Springs Country Club
• This week’s purse is $600,000 with $108,000 going to the champion; the champion will also
receive 500 Korn Ferry Tour point