Patrick Cantlay stays in the bubble in quest to land the BMW Championship

The American heads into the final round at Caves Valley GC tied at the top with Bryson DeChambeau, the pair of them three clear of the field.

It was not the most straightforward task on Saturday at the BMW Championship, but Patrick Cantlay insisted: "I'm just trying to stay in my own little bubble out there. That's the best way I can go about doing my thing and gives me the best chance to succeed."

Why so tricky?

For one thing, the galleries at Caves Valley in Baltimore spent most of the day going nuts.

"They're amped up," Cantlay said. "Balls are going everywhere and they're yelling, and there's a lot of long walks with fans right on you in between holes. They're just amped up and having a good time.

"We haven't had this many fans in a while. We took a year off from the fans, so now they're back and it feels like there are more of them.

"It can be a distraction if you let it, so I just try and get in my own world, do my own thing."

For a second thing, Cantlay played the third round, as he will do in the fourth round, with Bryson DeChambeau whose Saturday performance was prompting a lot of the amping.

The big-hitter pegged back-to-back eagles on the front nine, added five birdies, and then twice found water on the back nine.

Meanwhile, the third man in the group, defending champion Jon Rahm, spent the front nine getting into contention and the back nine dropping out of it.

It was very much a day for the Cantlay bubble.

"I know there's birdies out there and you might play with someone that's on a tear," he said. "I'm just trying to stick to my game plan."

He made an early eagle of his own, at the par-5 second and immediately added another birdie at the third, but then the need for patience kicked in as he added seven pars before ticking four back nine birdies.

"It was another day on an easy, soft golf course, so you needed to make a bunch of birdies. Thought I played really well, all in all, didn't make too many mistakes.

"Played solid, didn't putt as well as I did the first couple days but probably hit it a little better, and I thought it was a good day and I'm in a good spot for tomorrow."

He dropped a shot at the 18th, which cost him the solo lead heading into Sunday.

Instead, he and DeChambeau sit atop the leaderboard on 21-under 195, three clear of Sungjae Im, with Abraham Ancer, Rory McIlroy, Sam Burns and Sergio Garcia tied fourth on 17-under. Rahm is in solo eighth a shot further back.

Let's see what else the leading contenders had to say.

Bryson DeChambeau on finding something on the greens

"Putter is great right now. That's something I worked on last night and I figured something out. Keeping my hips a little more still has helped out and I'm seeing the lines a little bit better. It's taken me a little bit to acclimate for some reason, but I'm now ready to go with the putting, and hopefully I can get it done tomorrow."

Sungjae Im on a new target for the week

"Today was not as good as the first and second round, but my putting is working, so everything is like perfect for my putting and everything is good. My first goal was to make the top 30 and get to East Lake, but now I'm close to the winners, so I will try my best for tomorrow."

Abraham Ancer on contesting with the big hitters

"You know what, it's nice to make putts. Definitely on a golf course this long and soft, for me to be up there, I've got to be making a lot of putts. I'm happy it's working. Feel good over the ball on the greens. Striking it nicely, too, off the tee. And my irons are working, as well. Overall pretty solid."

Rory McIlroy on hot starts and providing entertainment

"One of those days where it seemed like everyone got off to really hot starts and there were cheers everywhere. I think everyone out on the course enjoyed today, watching us try to drive greens and make eagles on par-5s and all that.

"You don't want to put yourself under too much pressure to get off to a good start, but a good start is really important because you can get momentum on your side early and try to ride it from there.

"I said this the other day. It depends what we're all trying to get out of the FedExCup Playoffs. I think one part of it is entertainment. It's certainly been entertaining this week. It won't be the birdie-fest next week as it is this week and I think that's a good thing, especially when you come to the final one and the top 30. I think the challenge is an important part of it, too."

Sam Burns on aiming high this week and next

"Going to try to put a low one out there and chase these guys down. They're playing really well so it's going to be hard to catch them. But yeah, I also think if we play well tomorrow we'll have a good chance going into next week given the staggered leaderboard to start. Obviously, the closer to the lead you start to that 10-under number, the probability of winning is higher, so that's the goal."

Sergio Garcia on nearly going lower and dealing with a soft test

"I made some good putts, don't get me wrong, but I also had at least four lip-outs that I can recall. It would have been nice to make a couple more of those and get a little bit higher up the leaderboard. If you're playing well an easy course is fun, obviously. But it's not my favourite kind of golf. I like when it's a bit more challenging and it's not just putting, but don't misinterpret me, you still have to hit the shots."

DeChambeau is the 7/5 favourite with Cantlay 15/8, McIlroy 16/1, Rahm 20/1, Ancer 25/1 and Burns 28/1. Bet here with PlanetSportBet.

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