Birdie Flurry Gives Watson Share of Lead

RSS

Allen Doyle shook Tom Watsons hand after the completion of the third round of the Senior PGA Championship and said, Nice back nine, huh.
 
Well, if you consider a pair of closing 31s to be nice, then, yeah, it was a nice back nine.
 
Watson rolled in a 45-foot putt on the final hole of the day, his fifth straight birdie, to earn a share of the 54-hole lead at the Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, N.J.
 
Watsons 66 was the low round of the championship, thus far. He stands at 9-under-par for the tournament, tied with Bob Gilder (70) and 36-hole leader Jim Thorpe, who birdied the last to shoot 71.
 
Doyle, who played with Watson on Saturday, is one shot off the lead following a 68. Doyle won this event in 1999. Bruce Fleisher, who has 13 career Senior wins but no major titles, is the next nearest competitor at 5-under-par.
 
Watson was six shots back of Gilder heading to the 14th hole when he hit a 6-iron to two feet. Watson then birdied the par-3 15th from six feet, curled in a 20-footer on No. 16, and pitched to three feet on the par-5 17th.
 
Watson, 51, is seeking his first Senior major championship. He won eight majors on the PGA Tour, but never a PGA Championship.
 
'Because it's the PGA, that's the PGA of America, that means a heck of a lot to me,' said Watson. 'I would very much like to win this tournament, as I would the U.S. Senior Open.'
 
Gilder took the outright lead by making birdie on the par-3 8th, and stayed alone at the top until missing a short birdie putt at the par-5 17th. He finished his round with a difficult chip shot out of the rough to within a foot of the cup.
 
Were okay, said Gilder. Were right where you want to be going into the final round.
 
Full-field scores from the Senior PGA Championship