Fowler, Watney Tied for Lead after Busy Saturday at AT&T

Fowler, Watney Tied for Lead after Busy Saturday at AT&T

Remember when K.J. Choi tied the Aronimink course record with a 64 on Friday? Well, forget about it. Nick Watney is your new record holder after an -8, 62 Saturday. Despite a largely ordinary even-par, 35 on the front, Watney would card six birdies and one eagle for a back nine total of just 27.

Watney was hardly alone, however, in his stellar play. Low scores were to be had during the third round, after the Aronimink grounds crew was reported to have sprayed a little extra water on the greens over night. Consequently, fans in Newtown Square enjoyed four rounds of 64, two of 63, and one—Watney's—62. Beside setting the new course low, Watney's Saturday finish matches the AT&T National single-round tournament record set by Anthony Kim at Congressional Country Club in 2009.

Not typically known for being so accessible, especially after putting up such a tough test in 2010, Aronimink played substantially easier than usual Saturday. Nonetheless, many of the players remained highly complimentary of the layout and its conditions:

"This is one of the better [courses] we play all year, and I think every other player will agree with that," said Chris Kirk. Kirk, who carded a -7, 63 on Saturday, sits just three shots behind Watney and Fowler at -6. "It's just a great golf course," Kirk continued, "It tests every part of your game."

Co-leader Nick Watney, whom you may remember for his performance at the 2010 PGA Championship, spoke in a similar tone when asked for his take on the multitude of low numbers.

"I don't know. I think the greens are a bit softer than they could have been. I heard they put some water on them. They gave us a drivable par-4. Other than that, the greens are so good that you can really start making putts. But I'm not sure why there were so many low scores today, whereas the first six rounds here, it was very difficult."

As for Watney's co-leader Ricky Fowler (pictured above), the young man in the brightly-colored Puma's is clearly the crowd favorite, especially amongst the ladies. It's hardly been uncommon this week to overhear any number of females—both young and not-so-slightly older—comment that they either "can't wait to go see Rickie Fowler" or are "trying to go see Rickie Fowler again."

Maybe it's that he's young—just 22. Maybe it's his outrageous monochromatic attire—a Carolina blue on Saturday. Maybe it's that he's already rich—having taken home $2.8 million last year. Maybe it's all of these things (It's probably all of these things). Let's just say that the kid has a bright future ahead of him, both on and off the course.

And, in fairness, Fowler's crowds are far from just women.

"[The crowd around me] definitely grew as the round went on," said Fowler. "I saw some kids with my hats on. It's definitely nice to have that, to have people to see me play and keep me going…It seems like these Philadelphia fans seem to like getting a little loud at times. So, hopefully we can give them something to cheer for tomorrow."

As if he couldn't get any better, he even knows how to appeal to our local sensibilities. Well done, Rickie.

One final update, 36-hole leader K.J. Choi had more than his fair share of struggles early in round three. After a promising birdie at the first, Choi would bogey three of next five, posting a disappointing +2, 37 on his opening nine. Still, K.J. would fight back to close with a -3, 34 on the back and finish with a -1, 69.

The forty-one-year old South Korean sits just one shot back of the lead at -8. Of the seven occasions in which Choi has held the 36-hole lead of a PGA Tour event, he has claimed victory five times. He'll try to make six of eight when he attempts to hunt down Fowler and Watney Sunday.

We'll be back tomorrow to wrap up the 2011 AT&T National from Aronimink. Following our weekend-long theme, we leave you with Bill Murray's stunning rendition of the 1980 Masters Championship. It's in the hole, it's in the hole.

Phillies to add 3 players Friday; Nick Williams iffy for September call-up

Phillies to add 3 players Friday; Nick Williams iffy for September call-up

Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said he expects the club to add three players from the minors on Friday. Rosters expand on Thursday, an off day for the Phils.

“A couple of relievers, maybe a hitter,” Mackanin said before Wednesday night's game against Washington.

Mackanin would not name names because a lot can change in a day or two.

Darin Ruf seems to be a logical choice to be the hitter Mackanin referred to. He opened the season with the big club, but got just 57 at-bats and hit just .158 before being sent to Triple A when Tommy Joseph came up. Since going down, Rup has hit .298 with 20 homers, 65 RBIs and a .895 OPS in 94 games for Lehigh Valley.

The Phillies will likely add two relievers to fortify the bullpen. Patrick Schuster, a lefty who was recently claimed off waivers from Oakland, could be a possibility. Colton Murray, Luis Garcia, Dalier Hinojosa and Elvis Araujo all could be possibilities, as well. All have spent time in the majors this season.

The Phils can’t completely pick over the Triple A roster because Lehigh Valley’s regular season runs through Monday and that club is likely to be in the International League playoffs.

Once Lehigh Valley’s season is over, more pitching could come. Starters David Buchanan and Phil Klein could be possibilities. Alec Asher, currently serving a suspension for testing positive for PEDs, is expected to be activated by the big club next week and could provide some innings to the starting rotation.

It’s unclear which prospects will come up. Catcher Jorge Alfaro seems to be a shoo-in after Double A Reading’s playoff run. Shortstop J.P. Crawford is not on the 40-man roster and does not need to be protected on it this winter. That could prevent him from coming up as the Phillies look to use the 40-man roster spot on a player that they could lose if not protected. Outfielder Nick Williams seemed to be a lock to come up a month ago, but his performance has slipped at Triple A in recent weeks and he now looks iffy.

Williams, like Alfaro, was acquired from Texas in the Cole Hamels trade last summer. The lefty-hitting outfielder entered Wednesday hitting .265 with 12 homers, 62 RBIs and just a .294 on-base percentage in 119 games. He entered Wednesday hitting just .187 with a paltry .204 on-base percentage in the month of August. He had struck out 34 times and walked just once in 93 trips to the plate in August.

That certainly cannot sit well with a front office that puts a premium on players who "control the strike zone."

AFL rosters announced
The Phillies will send six players to the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League. The group includes three pitchers, right-handed relievers Victor Arano and Miguel Nunez, and lefty starter Brandon Liebrandt, second baseman Scott Kingery, third baseman Mitch Walding, and outfielder Aaron Brown. Brown replaces outfielder Andrew Pullin, who recently went on the disabled list at Double A Reading with an elbow injury.

Sixers waive Carl Landry, Tibor Pleiss; officially sign Cat Barber

Sixers waive Carl Landry, Tibor Pleiss; officially sign Cat Barber

The Sixers made some roster tweaks on Wednesday night.

The team waived forward Carl Landry and center Tibor Pleiss, while officially announcing the signing of guard Anthony "Cat" Barber.

The Sixers were expected to cut Pleiss, who was acquired last Friday in a trade with the Jazz. On July 21, Barber and the Sixers reportedly agreed to a partially guaranteed deal.

Landy, a 32-year-old veteran, played one season with the Sixers after being acquired last summer in a trade with the Kings, a deal in which he was essentially a toss-in as it revolved around bringing Nik Stauskas to Philadelphia. Landry, who was under contract for 2016-17 at $6.75 million, battled injury to start 2015-16 and ended up playing in 36 games (12 starts), averaging 9.8 points and 4.1 rebounds per game.

Barber, 6-foot-3, 173 pounds, will fight for a roster spot at point guard during training camp. The 22-year-old went undrafted in June after declaring following his junior season at NC State in which he averaged 23.5 points per game, seventh most in the country and best in the ACC.

Ben Simmons working out with LeBron James

usa-ben-simmons-summer-league.jpg

Ben Simmons working out with LeBron James

Ben Simmons' fellow NBA rookies may not think too highly of him, but when the best basketball player on the planet is giving him pointers, he must be doing something right.

On Tuesday, a photo of Simmons and LeBron James dribbling side by side started making the rounds on Instagram. That's right. The Sixers' number-one overall draft pick and franchise savior is apparently training with the four-time league MVP and reigning world champion.

#Klutch @klutchsports

A photo posted by Ben Simmons (@bensimmons) on

Those workouts continued on Wednesday, when 12-time All-Star Dwayne Wade posted a photo of himself, Simmons and James, as well as Richard Jefferson and Jordan McRae. That's some good company for a first-year player to keep.

Good day of work!

A photo posted by dwyanewade (@dwyanewade) on

What does all of this mean for Simmons and the Sixers? Hard to say, but it can't be a bad thing that the rookie point-forward is spending time with a pair of future first-ballot Hall of Famers. Surely he must be learning something.

That's good news for the Sixers, who hope that Simmons can even come close to living up to the lofty comparisons some have drawn to James already.