On the third day of the Porter Cup there was Brian Harman and then there was the rest of the field.
While the leader stormed out to what was at one point a score of 18-under par, the rest of the field struggled to catch up. On the 17th hole, an 11-under Billy Horschel watched his birdie putt slowly roll just outside the cup, and he fell to his knees. That was the way it went for the rest of the golfers Friday -- close, but never close enough.
As the final round gets under way today, the final group includes Harman at 17 under with his closest competitors being Horschel and a 13-under Lucas Lee of Torrance, Calif.
"I just didn't have the putts fall for me today," Horschel, a Florida native, said. "I hit a lot of good putts and they just burnt the edges. I was real close to breaking out and shooting maybe 6 or 7 under today, but it just didn't happen for some reason and that's the way it goes sometimes."
Harman looks to have a handle on breaking the tournament's four-day record of 14-under par, but Lee, Horschel and even Jason Kokrak, at 10 under, are within striking distance of the record.
Thursday's second-place golfers, Kokrak and Justin Regier, faltered a bit playing with the leader. Kokrak had an even round to fall into fourth place while Regier dropped to 8 under and a tie for sixth after his 72 on Friday.
"Today," Kokrak sighed, "today was frustrating. I didn't make any putts.
"I didn't play bad, I hit the ball just like I hit the ball yesterday, I just didn't make the putts that I needed to," he added.
Kokrak was keeping up with the staggering pace set by Harman to begin the round as the pair went birdie for birdie on the second and third holes, but the fourth hole brought Kokrak back down to earth.
He three-putted the 196-yard par-3 and never regained his momentum after that. Kokrak then watched as birdie putt after birdie putt either lipped out of the cup or simply stopped inches away.
Horschel and Lee, playing in front of the final group, didn't have to watch Harman dominate. They were able to focus on their own game until they hit the 17th tee -- that was when the pair saw Harman's score atop the leader board at an astounding 18 under.
"I saw him at 18 under and I just said, 'You know what, there's no way,' " Horschel said. "I expected Harman to keep going low just because he's in the zone, he's got that good feeling and I don't see him coming back to us so I'm happy for him.
"I want him to win, if I don't win, because I want him to be on the Walker Cup team because I want him to be my partner in the Alternate Shots if we both make it," Horschel added. "I'll be playing with him in the final group [today], so I'm going to go out there and have fun with him and try to play as best as I can. And if that's not happening, I'm just going to root him on."