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.

Today's lineup: Phillies try to salvage game against struggling Anibal Sanchez

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Today's lineup: Phillies try to salvage game against struggling Anibal Sanchez

Justin Verlander mowed down the Phillies last night in a 3-1 Tigers victory, but the Phils have a chance to strike back this afternoon against a struggling pitcher who hasn't had much career success against them.

Anibal Sanchez will take the hill for the Tigers and oppose Aaron Nola in today's series finale (1:10 p.m. on CSN). To say Sanchez hasn't had a great start to his season would be an understatement. He's 3-5 with a 6.32 ERA and opponents are batting .270 against him.

In his career against the Phillies, Sanchez is just 4-8 with a 4.94 ERA. Granted, most of those numbers came in the early part of his career with the Florida Marlins, when he regularly faced powerful Phillies lineups. As one might expect, Ryan Howard, who is again in the lineup today as the designated hitter and batting fifth, has seen Sanchez plenty of times. His 42 at-bats against Sanchez are tied for third-most against the 32-year-old righty. Howard's done OK against Sanchez — 9 for 31 (.290 average) with two homers and four RBI. Maybe some familiarity will finally lead to a breakout game for Howard. But, if his massive slump is any indication, maybe not.

For as poor as Sanchez's start to the season has been, Aaron Nola's first six weeks of 2016 have been at the other end of the spectrum.

Today's Phillies starter is 3-3 with a 2.85 ERA. But he's been better than those numbers show.

His .900 WHIP is third in the NL, as is his 5.82 strikeout-to-walk ratio. His 6.45 hits allowed per nine innings is fourth in the NL, as is his 1.65 walks per nine innings. His 64 strikeouts rank eighth in the NL. Imagine if he got more than the 2.89 runs of support he's been getting in his starts.

As for the rest of the Phillies' lineup today, the only changes see Andres Blanco getting the start for Cesar Hernandez, batting seventh and Cameron Rupp behind the plate, batting sixth.

Phillies
1. Odubel Herrera CF
2. Freddy Galvis SS
3. Maikel Franco 3B
4. Tommy Joseph 1B
5. Ryan Howard DH
6. Cameron Rupp C
7. Andres Blanco 2B
8. Tyler Goeddell LF
9. Peter Bourjos 1B

Tigers
1. Cameron Maybin CF
2. J.D. Martinez RF
3. Miguel Cabrera DH
4. Victor Martinez 1B
5. Nick Castellanos 3B
6. Steven Moya LF
7. James McCann C
8. Mike Aviles 2B
9. Jose Iglesias SS

Watch: Miguel Cabrera gives Jeremy Hellickson thumbs up for fooling him on nasty pitch

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Watch: Miguel Cabrera gives Jeremy Hellickson thumbs up for fooling him on nasty pitch

The Phillies once again couldn't find much offense and fell to the Tigers in Detroit last night by a final of 3-1.

But at least the pitching showed something.

There was a fun moment between Jeremy Hellickson and Miguel Cabrera after Hellickson threw quite a nice pitch that fooled Miggy.

Here's how Jim Salisbury described the fun battle:

Hellickson served up a down-the-middle fastball to Miguel Cabrera in the first inning and Cabrera swatted it for an RBI double. He has four RBIs in the first two games against the Phillies.
 
In the third inning, Hellickson struck Cabrera out on a nasty changeup for the third out. The pitch was so good that Cabrera flashed Hellickson a thumbs-up before spiking his helmet to the ground.
 
Hellickson’s changeup has been very good lately.
 
“I really feel comfortable with it right now and I’m throwing it for a lot of strikes,” he said.

And here's the thumbs up:

Eagles 2016 training camp schedule features 2 open practices

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Eagles 2016 training camp schedule features 2 open practices

Eagles rookies, quarterbacks, and select veterans will report to training camp on Monday, July 25. 

The rest of the veterans will report on July 27, with the first full-team practice of training camp taking place on Thursday, July 28 at 3:30 p.m., the team announced Wednesday. 

The majority of training camp practices this summer under Doug Pederson will take place at the NovaCare Complex, beginning at 8:15 a.m., which is earlier than the team practiced during camp under former head coach Chip Kelly. The early practices hark back to training camps under Andy Reid at Lehigh, although now the team will have its walkthroughs in the afternoon. 

The Eagles will have two practices open to fans at Lincoln Financial Field: Sunday, July 31 at 10 a.m. and Sunday, Aug. 14 at 7 p.m. Both open practices are free and don't require tickets. Seating will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

The Eagles will have several off days throughout camp: Aug. 2, Aug. 9, Aug. 12. And camp ends on Aug. 16, with the preseason opener vs. the Tampa Bay Bucs in the middle, on Aug. 11.