LA QUINTA, Calif. (AP)—Bubba Watson , Alex Prugh and Joe Ogilvie all had latechances to create a little separation atop the Bob Hope Classic field Sunday.All three made mistakes better suited to their amateur playing partners.
And that left a leaderboard crowded with low-profile pros seeking theirfirst career victories in the Monday finale.
Watson double-bogeyed the final hole in the fourth round, dropping him backinto a tie with PGA Tour rookie Prugh at 23-under 265. Prugh missed a 3-footputt to bogey his own final hole, while Ogilvie sat two strokes back after adouble bogey on his 17th.Kevin Streelman waves after sa…
AP - Jan 24, 7:43 pm EST
“You can’t have double bogeys and win the Hope,” Ogilvie said.
Actually, you probably can this year. The famed tournament features none ofthe PGA Tour’s top 35 players, creating golden opportunities for the top fourplayers heading into the final round at the Arnold Palmer Private course at PGAWest.
After knocking his second shot into the water and then missing a 6-foot putton the par-4 18th, Watson finished with 3-under 69 to match Prugh (70) at23-under 265. Bill Haas and Tim Clark were a stroke back after 66s, Ogilvie (68)followed at 21 under, and Mike Weir was in a group another stroke behind afterhis fourth straight 67.
Watson, Prugh, Haas and South Africa’s Clark have never won on the PGA Tour,while Ogilvie has just one win.
“The emotions, they’re flowing, they’re going up and down out there,” saidHaas, whose father, Jay, won the Hope Classic in 1988. “If there’s good weather(Monday), it’s going to take a 66 to have a chance. I don’t even know if thatwill win tomorrow.”
Watson was among the last off the courses, and the long-driving pro couldhave put himself in prime position for the $900,000 winner’s share of the $5million purse at this four-course event, which was pushed back a day after rainwashed out play Thursday.
Instead, he failed to overpower the relatively easy Nicklaus Private course.Watson, whose wife played in the pro-am event, still made six birdies before hisdisappointing finish.
“Tomorrow is going to be a tough day no matter if I had the lead, was tiedfor the lead, or one back, or five back,” said Watson, who plans to buy areplica of the General Lee car from “The Dukes of Hazzard” television seriesif he wins. “Tomorrow is going to be a fun day. This is what we live for. Themore chances I get to win, maybe I’ll get one to luckily fall in and win one.”
Prugh, the 25-year-old former University of Washington star making his thirdPGA Tour start, missed an easy putt to bogey his final hole on the SilverRockcourse, finishing another self-described unremarkable round. He still claims theHope Classic doesn’t feel much more stressful than events on the NationwideTour, where he won the New Zealand Open last year.
“The way things were going the first three days, where the scores weregoing, I definitely didn’t think 2 under would keep me in it,” said Prugh, whoopened the Hope Classic with a 64-66-65 start. “It’s definitely what I expectedto feel. I feel like I’ve been in this situation before.”
Ogilvie appeared the angriest at himself after he double-bogeyed the 17th atLa Quinta. Ogilvie, whose only PGA Tour victory came in Milwaukee in 2007, paidthe price for guessing at a yardage distance.
“My caddie was about 30 yards off,” said Ogilvie, who hadn’t made a bogeysince early in the second round. “I had uncertainty on the tee, and it’s amistake to hit driver when you’re not confident standing there.”
Watson held a lead going into the final round twice before, but failed towin the 2007 Houston Open and 2008 Arnold Palmer Invitational.
The cut claimed several of the tournament’s bigger names, including JustinLeonard , Rocco Mediate , David Duval , Jesper Parnevik , Chad Campbell and highlytouted 21-year-old rookie Rickie Fowler , whose first two tournaments of 2010have been nothing special. Fowler missed the cut last week in Hawaii, and hedidn’t crack 70 in his four rounds in the Palm Springs desert.
The Hope Classic had its second straight day of postcard-perfect PalmSprings scoring weather, with no real breeze and ideal temperatures. Thebeautiful conditions even brought out a family of eight bighorn sheep, whichmoseyed out of the craggy cliffs and onto the 16th hole on the Palmer course tochew on some grass.
The sheep ambled back up into the rocks before the group containingParnevik, long-hitting former Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde and “BurnNotice” actor Jeffrey Donovan reached the hole.
DIVOTS: Mike and Jay Haas could become the eighth father-son combo to win onthe PGA Tour. … All but a handful of amateurs and celebrities stuck around toplay the fourth rounds Sunday. … Jeff Maggert withdrew after eight holes withflulike symptoms.