Coincidence Jacks Back Murphys Law


DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) -- Mike McCullough has no idea why he is so successful at the Senior Players Championship.
He is just hoping that he can finally finish one off.
McCullough, who has four top-10 finishes at the tournament held in suburban Detroit in the last five years, enters Sunday's final round in a three-way tie for the lead at 11-under par.
'I don't know why this place works so well for me,' the 58-year-old said. 'I've had so much success here that I've almost started to put too much pressure on myself. My son reminded me today that one bad round wouldn't make people forget my success here, and that helped me relax.'
Unlike the two men he will face in Sunday's final round -- Tom Watson and Craig Stadler -- McCullough did not have a big career on the regular tour. He won twice on the Champions Tour in 2001, but has never won a major.
'I have no idea how it would feel to win a major -- I hope I get a chance to cross that bridge tomorrow,' said McCullough, who tied for second last year. 'It would be very special to win this tournament, because this is the Players Championship -- our event. We all have a special feeling about this tournament because of that.'
Jack Nicklaus, designer of the TPC of Michigan, shot a 1-under 71 to move from a tie for 61st to a tie for 45th.
'This was a better round, because I was able to finish strong,' he said. 'On Friday, I felt like I was in the same spot through 13 holes, but I didn't have a good finish. Today, I was able to avoid that.'
That, though, isn't enough for the 63-year-old, who still feels like he should be winning tournaments.
'I'm not unhappy with the way I am playing right now, but I am discouraged that I cannot post a good score,' said Nicklaus, who has not won since the 1996 Tradition. 'I still feel that I can be competitive, but not if I cannot score better than I am doing.'
Nicklaus has been plagued with injuries for several years, but is healthy now. That adds to his frustration.
'I am normally a very patient person, but I'm coming off three years where I basically haven't been able to play,' he said. 'Now I'm pretty good, but I don't know how much time I have left to get back to where I was. Instead of waiting for my chances, I'm trying to force them, and that's turning 68s and 69s into 72s and 73s.'
Bob Murphy entered the third round in a tie for third and playing in the final group with Watson and Andy North, but his prospects for winning only lasted three holes.
Murphy had a triple-bogey 7 on the second hole, including a penalty shot for a double-hit and a double-bogey 7 on the par-5 third to drop eight shots off the lead.
Murphy finished with a 79 and enters the final round in a tie for 20th, 11 shots off the lead.
Tom Jenkins made a five-foot birdie putt on the final hole to avoid shooting his third straight round of 70. Jenkins is tied for seventh after going 70-70-69. ... The day's worst round was an 87 by Jack Spradlin, who had been 1-under after two rounds. Spradlin had five double-bogies, seven bogies, two birdies and only four pars while dropping from a tie for 24th to a tie for 72nd. ... No player has carded three rounds in the 60s.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Ford Senior Players Championship
  • Ford Senior Players Championship Leaderboard
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