First Posted: 8/17/2013
GREENSBORO, N.C. — John Huh refused to let tough conditions — and one terrible hole — get him down. He was rewarded with a share of the lead at the Wyndham Championship.
The PGA Tour’s reigning rookie of the year shot an even-par 70 on Saturday and joined Patrick Reed atop the field after a soggy third round. Huh and Reed, the second-round leader who shot a 71, were at 10-under 200.
Huh shook off a triple bogey on his second hole, making up for it with three birdies in a four-hole stretch of the back nine.
“Since the rain picked it up this morning, it wasn’t easy for us to play out there, but I told myself, ‘Be patient, stay dry and keep grinding out there,’” Huh said.
Zach Johnson had the day’s best round — a 66 — and was one stroke back along with Bob Estes and John Deere winner Jordan Spieth. Estes shot 68, and Spieth had a 70.
Eight players were within two shots of the lead.
“It’s a Monday qualifier,” Reed said. “I had a lot of success at Monday qualifiers, and that’s basically what it is. I let everybody back in the field and to now, all of a sudden to have it as bunched as it is, it’s going to be whoever can make as many birdies as possible tomorrow and shoot a low number.”
There weren’t many of those during a rainy day at a Sedgefield Country Club course with challenging pin placements. Play was halted for 2 hours, 59 minutes in the morning while the soaked course could dry out somewhat.
Tour officials moved up Sunday’s final-round tee times in an attempt to beat the rain, just as they did for the third round when they sent players off in threesomes at the first and 10th tees.
Play was halted when early morning showers rendered the Donald Ross-designed course unplayable. Rain fell intermittently throughout the day, and though players were allowed to lift, clean and place their golf balls, the conditions played havoc with virtually everyone on the course.
“I don’t remember a time when there wasn’t even a mist in the air,” Johnson said. “But the course held up considering. … The greens were still fast.”
It was the worst total score for a third-round leader since the tournament moved back to this course in 2008. Every other 72-hole leader here in that span was at least 14 under.
Final match set for today
BROOKLINE, Mass. — Matt Fitzpatrick advanced to the final of the U.S. Amateur on Saturday with a 2-and-1 victory over Corey Conners at The Country Club.
Fitzpatrick could become the first English champion of the tournament since Harold Hilton in 1911. He will play Oliver Goss, who earned a 2-up victory over fellow Australian Brady Watt.
Dupont native and Pittston Area grad Brandon Matthews lost to Goss a round earlier in Friday’s quarterfinals.
Hole-in-one lifts Europe
PARKER, Colo. — Instead of seeing their lead disappear at the Solheim Cup, the Europeans saw it only cut in half.
They owed their slender advantage to a hole-in-one by Anna Nordqvist and a half-point from out of nowhere.
Nordqvist crashed a 7-iron on the 175-yard 17th into the pin, then the hole, to give Europe its only win in Saturday morning’s alternate-shot matches. It was the highlight of a topsy-turvy stretch of golf on the back nine that ended with Europe holding a 6½-5½ lead over the United States.
“It was just an unbelievable shot,” Nordqvist said after she and Caroline Hedwall beat Jessica Korda and Morgan Pressel 2 and 1. “It was the right shot at the right time.”
Pressel, who watched her dreams of a U.S. Open title disappear in 2005 when Birdie Kim holed out from a greenside bunker up the road at Cherry Hills, saw another one slip away cruelly in Colorado.
“Are you kidding me?” she said on the tee box as she watched the shot go in.
Bryant sets 36-hole record
ENDICOTT, N.Y. — Bart Bryant shot a 10-under 62 on Saturday to take the second-round lead in the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open.
Bryant, a rookie on the Champions Tour, took advantage of another serene day at En-Joie Golf Club, making six birdies in his first seven holes to surge past first-round leader Kenny Perry. Bryant was at 16-under 128, a 36-hole record for the tournament, four shots ahead of Corey Pavin.