Speaking of hoops, Will Gordon had gone cold on the field.
The 26-year-old from Davidson, North Carolina, missed four birdie putts inside 12 feet on his first seven holes of Saturday’s third round of the Sony Open in Hawaii.
“I had made so many good putts… I was laughing at my caddy,” Gordon said. “I was like, ‘I hit everyone in line, and none of them got in.’
That’s when Gordon started to warm up.
He found his stroke on the par-4 eighth hole with an easy 4-foot birdie before draining four more consecutive birdie putts, the longest since 24 feet on the par-3 11the. He added a 17-foot birdie on the par-4 14the and then he broke his putter on the par-3 17thejumping from about 30 meters.
“I just try to review the tendencies that I know I have when I start to hit badly,” said Gordon, who also ranked third in strokes gained: off the tee on Saturday when he shot 7-under 63 to move into the top 10 at Waialae. Country Club and only four strokes from the leader Hayden Buckley.
“I tried not to overcomplicate it and just keep it simple and try to stay really level with my posture and keep my lower body a little bit calmer today. I was able to hit him very well and give myself some chances. I’ve been doing great. I haven’t been within 20 feet. So today it was really nice to have some looks.”
Speaking of looks, Gordon is also a great basketball player. How could he not be growing up around Davidson’s men’s hoops program? Gordon’s parents are good friends with retired coach Bob McKillop, and the Gordons were the host families of three Davidson players when Will was in elementary school.
Full field scores from the Sony Open in Hawaii
One of the best youth players in the country at the time, the young Gordon developed a relationship with former Davidson standout and current NBA superstar Steph Curry. Gordon estimates that the two played golf a dozen times from when Gordon was between the ages of 8 and 14 until Curry had completed a couple of seasons in his professional career with the Warriors.
“It was a great time in my life,” Gordon said Saturday. “I don’t talk to him much anymore, but he inspired me a lot to grow.”
Asked if he and Curry played any head-to-head games, Gordon nodded: “Oh yeah, yeah. I think he cut me last time, and once he got into the win column, we haven’t played since.”
As for a 3-point shooting contest, Gordon was smarter than that.
“I wanted to stay in the win column,” he said.
It will stick to drain putts.