Dark-Horse Defending Champ Tied at Colonial


Uh, better keep your eyes on the skinny guy. Three rounds deep into the MasterCard Colonial, Brett Quigley is looking more like a potential winner instead of just a ragamuffin who is a field-filler.
He shot a 66 Saturday to remain tied with Phil Mickelson, this time atop the MasterCard Colonial field, and hes suddenly become the man who just wont go away.
Quigley shot a 4-under-par 66 on the par-70 course to own the lead most of the day. The stingy Mickelson birdied the final hole to deadlock the score at 11-under-par. Both passed a fast-fading Corey Pavin, who lost the swing that had served him so well for two days and shot 73.
I said before the day began that I needed to shoot 4- or 5-under today, and fortunately I did, said Quigley, who enjoyed his pairing with Rocco Mediate. It was pretty relaxing. I think for me, in order for me to play well, I need to do that.

I think Brett looked pretty good, said Mickelson, who, like the rest of the PGA Tour, has become a believer. I saw him make a bunch of putts.
It doesnt matter whether I have the lead or not, said Quigley about going into the final round tied for first. He (Mickelson) is going to play well. Ive just got to stay patient. If you hit in the rough, its so difficult.

Mickelson believes in the positive approach. Shoot for pins and damn the torpedos. If you go out aggressively, you can light it up, he said.
Quigley is a dare-devil type who enjoys a lot a sports, including racing. He missed the Touchstone Energy Tucson Classic earlier with a snowboarding injury. But he outdid himself when took a turn at a driving school at Texas Motor Speedway prior to the Colonial.
You are going 160 miles per hour in the Winston Cup cars, and we were literally 2-feet apart. When we were in the backstraight, we could have held hands. It makes a three-footer seem pretty easy when youre looking at that wall going 160 miles per hour.

Quigley served notice that this was possible when he finished second in Greensboro three weeks ago. He missed the cut at New Orleans and everyone assumed he would go away. But the five-year veteran, who has never finished in the top 125 on the money list, looks suspiciously like someone the Tour is going to have to deal with.
He doesnt even have a regular-tour card. Quigley started the season with privileges on the Buy.Com Tour and won an event on that circuit towards the end of April. The next week he shocked everyone by nearly winning the Greater Greensboro Chrysler Classic on the regular tour. He has decided to try for his card by winning top-125 money from last year, $391,075, and already is $308,000 by virtue of what happened in Greensboro.
And if he finishes in the top five here, he will make it. He apparently has turned his back on trying to make the big tour by finishing in the top 15 on the Buy.Com, at least for now.
The next three weeks will be big for me, said Quigley. I was the last man in for Kemper (next week), and if I play well here, Im going to get into Memorial. If I play well the next three weeks, then I am going to stay out here. The bottom line is, I need to get my job for next year. However I have to do it, Im going to do it.
Quigleys key hole was the ninth, which he parred after having to take a drop on his second shot from a ladys purse. He dropped the ball into deep rough without a penalty, then chipped onto the green 60 feet away. He proceeded to roll the ball into the cup, to the surprise of everyone, including himself.
It was a round-maker, he said of the all-world par. The people stood up and cheered, it was a great feeling.
The difference in the two tours, Buy.Com and the regular tour, is largely mental. Youre playing against the big boys on the regular tour, and youve got to take their money when you have the chance.
You have to get used to playing with Fred Couples, Davis Love, Greg Norman, Nick Price, Quigley said. Theres not much difference in the actual scores. But out here, youre playing with guys you grew up watching on TV. Youve got to compete against them to make a living.
Quigley is showing some signs of being able to compete against them, especially if he finishes this one strongly.
Ive been in this situation before, he said. I need to not put too much pressure on myself to play well. I dont need to worry about results. I just have to go out and play golf.
Shigeki Maruyama shot a 65 and stands third with a score of 8-under. Tied for fourth is Tom Lehman, Mediate and David Toms.
Full-field scores from the MasterCard Colonial