Three share the lead entering final round
GLENVIEW, Ill. – A trio of players – Northbrook, Illinois native and University of Illinois alum Nick Hardy, Davis Thompson, and Harry Hall – will enter Sunday’s final round of the NV5 Invitational presented by Old National Bank as co-leaders at 16-under par. It marks the first 54-hole lead or co-lead on the Korn Ferry Tour for each of the players.
Thompson had the round of the day Saturday as he carded a 9-under 62, establishing a new career-low round and tying The Glen Club’s course record previously set by Ollie Schniederjans (2021), Jim Rutledge (2005), D.A. Points (2004) and Kris Mikkelsen (2002).
“Got off to a nice start. Didn't hit a lot of greens early on, but was only 1-under through six and I knew scores are probably going to be pretty low today,” Thompson said. “Thankfully I just made some putts during the middle of my round, and then nice to finish with a birdie on No. 18.”
The 22-year-old St. Simons Island, Georgia resident began the third round in T14 position and climbed the leaderboard with 10 birdies and just one bogey. Thompson opened with a birdie at the par-5 first, offset a birdie at the par-5 fifth with a bogey at the par-4 sixth, then rattled off seven birdies in the next nine holes, including a run of four in a row from Nos. 7-10. The University of Georgia alum capped the day with a birdie at the par-5 18th.
A Korn Ferry Tour rookie, Thompson has three top-25s, including a T6 last month at the Huntsville Championship, in 11 starts this season.
Thompson, formerly the No. 1 player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, turned professional last year following four seasons at the University of Georgia, where he was named the 2021 Southeastern Conference Player of the Year and finished No. 2 in the inaugural PGA TOUR University presented by Velocity Global Class of 2021. Utilizing an exemption to Final Stage of the 2021 Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament via PGA TOUR University, Thompson finished T39 and earned guaranteed starts for the first eight events of the 2022 season.
“I'm going to enjoy the challenge.” Thompson said of the impending final round. “I'm there for a reason. Might as well keep it going and try to have an aggressive mindset. This is why you practice, this is why you play, this is why you hit all those balls. You can't get too emotional. Looking forward to just trying to play a good round tomorrow and try to win.”
Hardy, who stood solo-second through 36 and 54 holes of this event last year, is making his 53rd Korn Ferry Tour start this week and remains in search of his first victory. Hardy stands T5 or higher for the seventh consecutive round of the NV5 Invitational presented by Old National Bank.
Hardy’s third round started with birdies on the first and third, sandwiched around his lone bogey of the day on the par-4 second. Three more birdies on Nos. 5, 10 and 13 took him to 14-under par. At the par-5 18th, the 26-year-old putted from just off the green and rolled in the 22-footer for a walk-off eagle.
“I hit a drive a little right, but I hit it pretty hard across the cart path,” Hardy said of his position at No. 18. “I was on kind of a baseball swing lie, and kind of sketchy shot. I hit 7-iron hoping for a jumper and it jumped and it was perfect. Landed just short of the pin and rolled to the back fringe. I had a really fast putt. I was just trying to lag it down there and it happened to go in.”
A 2020-21 Korn Ferry Tour graduate, Hardy earned his first PGA TOUR card last year with 10 top-10s and 19 top-25s across 41 starts. He finished the combined season No. 21 on the Korn Ferry Tour Points List and was one of three members of The 25 who earned a TOUR card without a victory in the combined season.
“The tournament is not over, so I still have a lot of work to do tomorrow,” Hardy said. “You're not going to go congratulate Kobe Bryant or LeBron James after the third quarter of a basketball game. We got a lot of game left, so got to keep going.”
Making his 43rd career start on the Korn Ferry Tour, Hall enters the final round for the first time with a lead of any kind. The highest position he held through 54 holes was solo-second at the 2021 Wichita Open Benefitting KU Wichita Pediatrics, where he went on to win.
“I drew back on Wichita about two weeks ago as far as how I played the game,” Hall said. “You're always looking to improve and hit it further and drive it straighter, putt it better. I thought about Wichita a lot because I've been progressively playing solid this year, but not up to my standards or how I want to play. I kind of figured, what did I do well in Wichita? I drew the ball off the tee.”
A representative of Cornwall, England who now resides in Las Vegas, Nevada, Hall posted a 6-under 65 Saturday with seven birdies (Nos. 2, 5, 7, 9, 10, 15, 18) and just one bogey, which came at the par-4 eighth. Hall has 19 birdies this week, tied for the most in the field.
In 30 starts last season, Hall racked up five top-10s, including a win and a runner-up, as he finished No. 40 on the 2020-21 Korn Ferry Tour Regular Season Points List. The 24-year-old University of Nevada-Las Vegas alum’s best finish this year came in the season-opening event, a T19 at The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.
Final-round pairings will run from 7:20 a.m. through 12:50 p.m. local time off the first tee.