SAINT SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Six years ago, the night before the final round of the RSM Classic during which Robert Streb enjoyed a putting day for the ages at Sea Island Resort’s Seaside Course, he enjoyed ice cream at Dairy Queen. The flavor is long forgotten and that Dairy Queen is now a burger joint called Frosty’s (partially owned by Davis Love), but the next day Streb shot 63 and won his first and only PGA Tour title, one-putting 11 greens on his way to a playoff victory.
Six years later, Streb is poised to have another ice cream celebration. He has made sure to treat himself to ice cream every night this week – “probably a large,” he said – and he said he’d definitely be going after shooting 3-under 67 to take a three-stroke lead over Zach Johnson and Bronson Burgoon heading into the final round of the RSM Classic.
“I’ve just been doing like a chocolate-vanilla and caramel or something,” he said.
Six years ago when he was victorious at what was then called the McGladrey Classic, Streb’s wife Maggie was pregnant with their first child. They have added a son, David, who is 2½, and this is the first week the Streb family has joined him. To really make it a family affair, Streb also has his in-laws with him to lend a helping hand, and away from the course the Streb’s have enjoyed some beach time while staying amid the Golden Isles.
“My problem is when I hit the beach, I want to plop down with a cooler of beer,” he said.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) November 21, 2020
Who can blame him? On a postcard-perfect breezy day that attracted bass-fishing rigs in and around the marshland, Streb got off to a nervy start, snap-hooking his opening tee shot into a native area before scrambling for par, and while it wasn’t pretty, he managed to par the first seven holes. Colombia’s Camilo Villegas briefly tied him for the lead at the par-5 eighth hole, but Streb answered with a birdie of his own and turned in 1-under 34. On No. 10, Streb wedged to 8 feet and, putting through his shadow, canned the birdie putt. When Villegas took three putts at the same hole, Streb’s lead stretched to three and he tacked on one last birdie at the par-5 15th to improve to 17-under 195, tying the record for the largest 54-hole lead in tournament history.
Streb, 33, had only shot in the 60s three times in 12 rounds this season entering the RSM, but now he’s done it three days in a row. He may need to turn the trick one more time to become the tournament’s first two-time winner. Local resident Zach Johnson (-14), who is seeking his 13th Tour title, tied Emiliano Grillo (-13) and Andrew Landry (-11) for the low round of the day with a 65. Johnson’s round included bookend birdies – a 42-foot birdie putt on the first hole and a 32-foot birdie putt at 18, that Johnson called, “a gift.” Kevin Kisner, who won the RSM Classic in 2015, posted a bogey-free 66 and will be going for broke tomorrow.
“Just can’t get the lead too far away,” he said. “I think we’re going to have less wind tomorrow and it’s going to be a shootout.”
Camilo Villegas got to 14 under before backing up to 12 under and posting an even-par 70.
Streb handled adversity well early in his round on Saturday and he’s definitely got good vibes at Sea Island, home of the only tournament where there is a champion’s banner hanging for his previous victory. He’d like to add another one of those – almost as much as he’d like to have another ice cream cone.