By: Sean Martin, PGATOUR.com
LA QUINTA, Calif. – Andrew Landry and Austin Cook are so similar that Landry used to call his fellow Arkansas alum, “Mini-Me.”
“We have very similar golf swings, we’re the same height, all of our shafts and specs are the same,” Landry, 30, said. “Whatever he gets, I get. We always make fun of each other for it.”
Their common characteristics have led to success at the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the two Razorbacks find themselves in the final group. Cook, 26, holds the 54-hole lead with a score of 19-under 197 (63-70-64). Landry, the only player in the field without a bogey, and Martin Piller are one shot back.
Jon Rahm, the world’s third-ranked player, is two shots off the lead, as is three-time TOUR winner Scott Piercy.
Cook, who’s just seven events into his rookie season on the PGA TOUR, already owns one win. He claimed the final event of the fall season at The RSM Classic, where he birdied three of the final four holes for a four-shot win. He has a chance to move to No. 2 in the FedExCup standings and join Patton Kizzire as the only multiple winners this season. Cook has finished in the top 25 in five of six starts this season.
He is the rare young player who relies on accuracy over power, missing just eight fairways in three rounds this week.
“He was the kind of guy you could give one golf ball to … and (at the end of the tournament) he’d be able to give it back to you,” said his college coach at Arkansas, Brad McMakin.
Cook and Landry both have expressed their love of tough courses. Landry is playing in the final group on the PGA TOUR for the first time since the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont, where he started the final round tied with eventual winner Dustin Johnson.
That will come in handy on a Stadium Course that has more square footage of water than fairway, and more sand than putting surface. Pete Dye’s desert creation was the toughest course in the United States when it opened, receiving a course rating of 77.1.
“There are a few holes out there that can get a little scary,” Cook said. Leading on the PGA TOUR can be a frightful experience, as well, but it’s one that Cook already has handled.