ISLAND OF SAINT SIMONS, GA – Six years ago, the day before the final round of the RSM Classic in which Robert Streb enjoyed a day of putting for the ages at Sea Island Resort’s Seaside Course, he tasted ice cream at the Dairy Queen. The flavor has long been forgotten and Dairy Queen is now a burger called Frosty’s (partly owned by Davis Love), but the next day, Streb shot 63 and won his first and only PGA Tour title, putting 11 greens in road to a playoff victory.
Six years later, Streb is getting ready to throw another ice cream party. He made sure to treat himself to an ice cream every night this week – “probably a big one,” he said – and he said he would definitely go after shooting 3-under 67 to take a lead. of three hits on Zach Johnson and Bronson Burgoon heads to the final round of the RSM Classic.
“I just make like a chocolate-vanilla and caramel or something,” he says.
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 added a son, David, who is 2.5 years old, 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 been spending time at the beach while still staying in the middle of the Golden Isles.
“My problem is when I go to the beach, I want to sit down with a beer cooler,” he says.
Who can blame him? On a postcard-perfect blustery day that drew bass fishing platforms in and around the swamp, Streb got off to a jumpy start, hooking up his opening tee shot in an area of origin before fighting for par, and while it wasn’t pretty, he managed to parry the first seven holes. Colombian Camilo Villegas briefly tied him for the lead on the eighth par 5 hole, but Streb responded with a birdie of his own and turned 1 under 34. At No 10, Streb stuck to 8 feet and, passing through his shadow, canned the birdie putt. When Villegas took three putts from the same hole, Streb’s lead extended to three and he nailed a final birdie par 5 15e to drop 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 have to flip the round once more to become the first double winner of the tournament. Local resident Zach Johnson (-14), who is looking for his 13e Tour title, tied with 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 at the top. first hole and a 32-foot birdie putt at 18, which Johnson called “a giveaway.” Kevin Kisner, who won the RSM Classic in 2015, posted a bogeyless 66 and is going bankrupt tomorrow.
“I just can’t take the lead too far,” he said. “I think we will have less wind tomorrow and it will be a shootout.”
Camilo Villegas went down to 14 cents before falling back to 12 cents and posting a 70 par.
Streb handled adversity well at the start of his round on Saturday and he’s definitely having good vibes at Sea Island, home of the only tournament where a champion’s banner is hanging for his previous win. He would love to add another – almost as much as he would love to have another ice cream cone.