Korea’s Kim Bio in third, one shot behind leaders
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Florida (AP) ― Justin Leonard took his hand off the club not long after contact on the fifth fairway, unhappy with another shot that was not up to his standards, knowing he would have to scramble just to avoid dropping another shot.
From 70 feet away, his chip-and-run banged into the pin and dropped for a birdie.
His 3-wood into the par-4 ninth sailed into the gallery, leaving him behind a bunker some 35 yards from the flag, such a tough shot that he was hopeful of getting it close enough for a reasonable putt at par. He holed that for birdie, too.
Leonard has been used to these kind of days in what has become his worst year on tour. Saturday at Disney, he managed to turn it into a 70 that put him in a tie for the lead with PGA Tour rookie Kevin Chappell in the Children’s Miracle Network Classic.
“Today, I scored,” Leonard said. “And it’s something I have not been doing at all this entire year.”
Chappell was much more consistent in a round of 66, overcoming a bogey on the opening hole and giving himself a steady diet of 10- to 15-foot birdie putts throughout the day on the Magnolia Course.
They were at 14-under 202, one shot ahead of 21-year-old Kim Bio, who needs at least a two-way tie for second to secure his tour card for next year.
The race for the PGA Tour money title had some possibilities, but only briefly.
Luke Donald, who trails Webb Simpson by $363,029, was tied for fourth when he reached the par-5 14th hole. Donald was only three shots out of the lead and three shots ahead of Simpson. When he walked off the green, Donald was in a tie for 14th, tied with Simpson and six shots behind.
For the second straight day, Donald hit a shot into the hazard on the 14th. He three-putted for double bogey, ending his PGA Tour streak of 483 holes without a three-putt. He had to settle for a 70, while Simpson shot 69 to move one ahead of Donald, and only four shots behind the leaders.
“Yesterday I hit a dozen really poor shots, shot 71 and today I hit two really poor shots, but unfortunately they cost me and almost shot the same score,” Donald said. “It’s just the way golf is sometimes.”
Simpson is likely to win the money title at this stage, as Donald would need no worse than a two-way tie for second. He was tied for 14th, five shots behind. Donald figured he would need a 62 in the final round.
“I’m a little more confident than I was two hours ago,” Simpson said, not making it clear if he was talking about his 32 on the back nine or his chances of capturing the money list.
Leonard, who is No. 144 on the money list, is moderately surprised to be atop the leaderboard in the final tournament of his worst season on tour. Even though he already is exempt for next season, he has never finished out of the top 125 on the money list. And he hasn’t been playing much golf late in the afternoon on the weekend.
This was the kind of round that could have easily gotten away from him. He opened with a sloppy bogey on the opening hole, and then some exquisite play with his short game.
The par-5 fourth hole won’t get as much attention, but it might have been his best shot. From the back of a bunker, facing a shot in which the green ran away from him, it came out clean and stopped 2 feet away for birdie. On the fifth, he chipped in from 70 feet when he was hopeful of getting par.
Garcia extends lead to
8 at Castello Masters
CASTELLON, Spain (AP) ― Sergio Garcia shot a 7-under 64 Saturday to extend his lead to a commanding eight shots after the third round of the Castello Masters.
He overcame a shaky start by making a 5-foot birdie putt at the seventh hole before an eagle at the eighth. The 2008 champion made five birdies on a flawless back nine for a 19-under 194 total.
“It’s well set up, but it’s not over. Anybody can shoot a round like I did the last couple of days,” Garcia said after completing his best back-to-back rounds after a 63 Friday.
Thongchai Jaidee shot a 66 and was his closest challenger, with first-round leader Ross McGowan (69) another stroke behind.
Defending champion Matteo Manassero of Italy shot a 71 to trail Garcia by 14 strokes.
The 31-year-old Garcia hopes his familiarity with his childhood course can help him protect his lead and end an almost three-year title drought. It would be his ninth European tour win.