A chip-in birdie to kick-start Saturday's third round at the 3M Open seemed a distant memory as Frankie Capan III moseyed through the ninth fairway toward his golf ball, resting on the green some 40 feet away from the cup. Capan's second shot at the difficult ninth came up short and wet, meaning the upcoming putt was for a front-nine-closing bogey.

Calmly, the Stillwater product playing on a sponsor's exemption in front of scores of onlookers lined up his try and buried the roll. It sent cheers worthy of a double eagle echoing through the TPC Twin Cities grounds.

"Yeah how about that?" Capan said after his round. "They seem to go in when they're for bogey."

You'll have to excuse Capan — who made his first PGA Tour cut Friday — for being a shade disappointed despite his relative inexperience in PGA Tour events. Saturday is Moving Day on Tour, and the 23-year-old went backward.

After that bogey on No. 9, Capan hit all nine greens in regulation on the back nine. He walked way with seven pars, one birdie and a bogey to show for it.

He signed for a 2-over-par 73 and enters Sunday at 4 under for the tournament.

"I had a lot of shots that, maybe a yard here or a yard there it's a different story," Capan said. "Even then things just kind of felt off. Just could not get anything to fall."

As has been the case since Korn Ferry Tour Q-School last fall, Capan's mother, Charlynn, has worked as his caddie.

Capan credited Mom for helping keep him on even ground after the tough front nine. When he wasn't looking, she gave a whip-quick, sportsmom-ish fist pump after Frankie drilled a 320-yard bomb off the tee on No. 11.

"She's great and always has been," Capan said.

Moving on up

Tournament officials drastically moved the 16th tee markers Saturday. Listed at 411 yards on the scorecard, it played just 305 yards in Round 3.

It's not uncommon for the Tour to experiment with tee box locations during tournaments in hopes of tempting players to go for the green.

"I was ready for it," said Fargo's Tom Hoge, who made one of 48 birdies on 16 and backed it up with an eagle on 18 en route to a third-round 68. "It almost feels like a long par 3 when you step up on the tee there and have to make a birdie to keep up with the rest of the field."

Said J.T. Poston, who enters Sunday five shots back of runaway leader Lee Hodges: "When they make it drivable like that, you're just trying to position yourself for an easy three."

Thomas sighting

While third-round play continued Saturday afternoon, Justin Thomas went back to work on the driving range and chipping green after he missed Friday's cut.

He also patiently signed autographs and posed for selfies for fans waiting and watching behind the practice ropes.

Thomas stayed in town because he's on his way to Cedar Rapids for friend and U.S. Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson's charity foundation event on Monday.

Thomas, 30, is a two-time major championship winner who has been on each of the past two Ryder Cup teams, boasting a 6-2-1 record. Even though he's in a rut having missed five cuts in in his past seven events, Thomas is no doubt very much still on Johnson's radar as a captain's pick come September.


• PGA Tour rookie Kevin Yu made exactly 52 feet, 4 inches of putts in both Round 1 and Round 2. Through 12 holes Saturday he more than doubled it, to 119 feet, 8 inches. Yu carded a 29 on the front nine and made six birdies in a row on Nos. 6-11 before faltering over the last six and shooting 67.

Sam Ryder made a double bogey on No. 9, then birdied seven holes on the back nine including the last five in a row.

Staff writer Jerry Zgoda contributed to this report.