Ames Herron Lead Hope


LA QUINTA, Calif. -- Tim Herron fired an 11-under 61 Friday to grab a share of the lead after the third round of the Bob Hope Classic. Herron was joined atop the leaderboard by Stephen Ames at 22-under-par 194, one shot clear of Jay Haas.
'I was really in the moment today, and that's probably the hardest thing,' said Herron. 'You kind of get in the zone and you kind of forget what you're shooting.'
Scoring has been plentiful on each of the four courses in rotation over the first four rounds of the tournament and Friday was Herron's turn. Playing the Palmer Course at PGA West, Herron started on the back nine and birdied four of his first five holes.
Herron two-putted for birdie at the par-5 18th, hit a wedge to 10 feet for a birdie at the first and got up and down for a birdie at the par-5 second.
The 32-year-old hit an 8-iron to seven feet at the fourth for the first of three consecutive birdies. Herron then sent his approach inside three feet for a birdie at the par-4 eighth.
'I usually don't play the Hope because it's more of a putting match and I feel like I'm a better putter now that I ever have been,' said Herron, a three-time winner on the PGA Tour. 'I decided to change it up and come to the Bob Hope where the weather's good and the greens are good and really roll the ball.'
Herron is looking for his first victory since the 1999 Bay Hill Invitational.
'You can't really back off and make a lot of pars,' said Herron. 'You're going to have to go out and still make some birdies.'
Ames jumped out of the gate at La Quinta and knocked a sand-wedge to a foot for a birdie at the par-4 first. He birdied the second and made it three in a row after he dropped his tee shot inside three feet at the par-3 third.
The 38-year-old hit an 8-iron to 25 feet for a birdie at the eighth and reached 19-under with a birdie at the 10th.
Ames hit his third shot within 10 feet for birdie at the par-5 13th and hit a 7-iron to five feet for birdie at the 14th.
At the par-4 16th, Ames landed his approach five feet from the cup and drained the putt for his eighth birdie of the day.
'Today I played well,' said Ames. 'It doesn't matter, because I have one more day with the amateurs. So as far as I'm concerned, it's still not an event. It doesn't start till Sunday.'
Haas, who shot a 61 on Thursday, collected five birdies and no bogeys for a third-round 67.
'Quite a different day today,' said Haas, who won this event in 1988. 'I didn't make the putts that I made yesterday, but tee to green, I was strong again.'
Mike Weir and Rod Pampling each posted rounds of 65 to finish two shots back at 20-under-par 196.
Steve Lowery aced the par-3 sixth at Indian Wells on his way to a round of 62. He finished at 18-under-par 198 alongside David Gossett, who also shot 62, and Chris DiMarco.
Davis Love III, Matt Gogel, Cliff Kresge and Doug Barron were one shot further back at 17-under-par 199.
Todd Fischer, Robert Gamez, Pat Perez, Patrick Moore and Frank Lickliter finished tied for 14th at 16-under-par 200.
Defending champion Phil Mickelson shot a 9-under 63 to finish in a group at 15-under-par 201.
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