Saturday's Golf Capsules
Sunday, May 15, 2011
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Nick Watney and Graeme McDowell were atop the leaderboard after a short day of work Saturday in The Players Championship. The winner of golf’s richest prize will have to work overtime.
After storms that delayed the third round by 4 1/2 hours and softened the TPC Sawgrass, Watney and McDowell came out firing in the twilight to reach 11 under through only five holes when play was suspended by darkness.
The biggest move all day might have been a pine that toppled by a big gust during the thunderstorms.
David Toms, the 36-hole leader who had to wait until dinner time to tee off, only made it through five holes. He made all pars, and probably was happy to stop. Toms had birdie putts inside 12 feet on every hole — two of them inside 7 feet — and missed them all to stay at 10 under.
Steve Stricker also was at 10 under after two birdies.
Only 40 players managed to finish the third round.
That included Ian Poulter, who had reason to be exhausted for other reasons. Realizing that play was going to be stopped, and not wanting to return at 7:45 a.m. Sunday to finish one hole, he sprinted to the 17th green and quickly two-putted for par, then ran off toward the 18th tee and hit his tee shot as the group in front was just leaving the tee. It’s a common move in tournament golf — once any player in a group tees off, the entire group is allowed to finish the hole. Poulter finished with a bogey for a 74, but at least he gets to sleep in. So does his playing partner, Dustin Johnson, who shot 73.
Phil Mickelson barely finished, just not the way he would have liked. He made eagle on the 16th, followed with a birdie on the 17th and then ended with a bogey for a 69. He was 5 under.
SON SERVERA, Spain (AP) — England’s Chris Wood shot a 1-under 69 to extend lead to his lead to four strokes after the third round of the Iberdrola Open.
Wood had a 9-under 201 total on the Pula course.
Ireland’s Shane Lowry shot a 63, matching the course record set Thursday by Frenchman Gregory Bourdy, to join Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke (70) at 5 under. Jose Maria Olazabal, the Spanish star who redesigned the Pula course, was fourth after at under after a 66.
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