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Harry Higgs powers through wind, bunker blunder into American Express hunt

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Two days following his first PGA Tour hole-in-one, Harry Higgs kept the party going on The American Express' Moving Day despite facing a few challenges and Venmo requests from strangers. 

The 30-year-old powered through heavy winds on La Quinta's Stadium Course Saturday and put himself in contention for his maiden PGA Tour win with a third-round 67. But even if Higgs didn't move nine spots up the leaderboard, he would have been content amid the conditions.

"Happy to have moved and moved up," Higgs, who at 15 under sits T-5, three shots off Lee Hodges and Paul Barjon's lead, said after his round. "Would have been totally fine not moving at all under these conditions out here. I think the guys that are playing the rotation as I did probably got a little bit of the short end of the stick playing here in the most wind.

"Honestly, it was just nice to be challenged today, to have kind of a constant wind all day long that you're not really going to get fooled by and you just got to step up and hit some good golf shots. So I was fortunate to do that, nice finish on 18 and give myself a chance coming in."

Full-field scores from The American Express

But before the world No. 141 rolled in a 19-footer for birdie on the final hole, he failed to get up the 18-foot slope — just like many others before — in the par-5 16th's daunting greenside bunker (the deepest bunker on Tour). Although Higgs salvaged par, he didn't view that as a major consolation. 

"I'm still pretty irritated that I had a 9-footer for par when I had a 6-iron into the green," he said. "But it's nice walking to 17 not having made a bogey the hole before when you had a 6-iron from the middle of the fairway. Whatever they call that bunker, it's, I was kind of in the middle of it and it was very firm. I mean, my feet it felt like concrete. And then you're kind of picking between two evils, right? Do I bounce into it, send it screaming over the green, or do I take a shot on and it just doesn't clear, it's going to roll back down? And then it rolled back down." 

The New Jersey native is looking for his first Tour win, but he did cross off another PGA Tour first in Thursday's round. En route to an opening 66, he holed his first Tour ace on La Quinta's par-3 15th from 206 yards but drinks and dinner still weren't on him during the celebration that night. It did, however, cost him a little pocket change, anyway. 

"[The ace] has, to this point, cost me zero dollars," he said.  "Well, I guess it's probably cost me $50. A couple random people have Venmo requested me, which maybe I should change my Venmo to something more incognito." 

And if Higgs can prolong the party another day by moving up a few more spots on the leaderboard to claim his maiden Tour victory, he'll have plenty of extra cash in his wallet  — or Venmo account — to spend in celebration.