Monday Qualifier Leads Royal Caribbean Classic
Dick Mast, John Bland, Bruce Fleisher, Dana Quigley and Bob Gilder share second place at 6-under.
The elder circuit's newest faces had two different rounds on Saturday. Fuzzy Zoeller shot a 1-under 71 while Tom Purtzer, who held the lead through 13 holes when play was halted on Friday, is two off the lead at 5-under-par.
'I had lost my confidence on the PGA Tour,' said Purtzer, who turned 50 in December. 'The last few years I really struggled around the greens. Not having to make a cut really has helped.'
Heavy storms on Friday left Crandon Park Golf Club unplayable and the first round was scrapped. The tournament was reduced to 36 holes as a result.
Overton flew out of the gate on Saturday with an up-and-down birdie at the par-5 1st hole. He added a six-foot birdie at No. 4 and made it two in a row when he ran home a 15-footer.
He birdied the 7th to go out at 4-under 31 but caught fire once again at the start of his second nine.
Overton drilled a 15-foot fringe-putt birdie at No. 11 and made a beautiful par save from a bunker at the next hole. He played an 8-iron to four feet to set up birdie at the 410-yard 13th but squandered an opportunity at the par-5 14th when he reached the green in two, but three-putted for par.
The Monday qualifier capped off his round with a bunker-saving birdie at the par-5 last hole.
Overton was thankful that Friday's round was washed away because he was in the first group of the day and was 3-over par in the 18th fairway.
'Yesterday wasn't comfortable,' said Overton. 'We caught a break.'
Overton is playing in only his eighth event on the Senior Tour and after failing to crack the top-50 on the money list, he will need to either qualify on Monday for all of his events or receive sponsor's exemptions.
One other alternative would be to win this event and a one-year exemption on tour.
'I have to be able to play well in order to ask for sponsor's exemptions,' said Overton, who can be the first Monday qualifier to go on and win am Senior Tour event since Jim Ahern at the 1999 Canada Senior Open. 'Today was like a reprieve from yesterday. It was a marvelous turnaround.'
Fleisher used four consecutive birdies at the start of his second nine, all from inside 15 feet, to climb up the leaderboard.
'I was patient and knew I was hitting the ball good,' said Fleisher. 'You get away with a lot more when you're scoring easy.'
Purtzer is joined in a tie for seventh with George Archer, John Jacobs, Tom Kite, Walter Hall and Sammy Rachels at 5-under.
Full-Field scores from the Royal Caribbean Classic
Schauffele just fine being the underdog
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following a breakthough season during which he won twice and collected the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Award, Xander Schauffele concedes his sophomore campaign has been less than stellar, but that could all change on Sunday at The Open.
Schauffele followed a second-round 66 with a 67 on Saturday to take a share of the 9-under-par lead with Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner.
Although he hasn’t won in 2018, he did finish runner-up at The Players and tied for sixth at the U.S. Open, two of the year’s toughest tests.
“Growing up, I always hit it well and played well in tough conditions,” Schauffele said. “I wasn't the guy to shoot 61. I was the guy to shoot like 70 when it was playing really hard.”
Sunday’s pairing could make things even more challenging when he’ll head out in the day’s final tee time with Spieth, the defending champion. But being the underdog in a pairing, like he was on Saturday alongside Rory McIlroy, is not a problem.
“All the guys I've talked to said, 'Live it up while you can, fly under the radar,'” he said. “Today I played in front of what you call Rory's crowd and guys were just yelling all the time, even while he's trying to putt, and he had to step off a few times. No one was yelling at me while I was putting. So I kind of enjoy just hanging back and relaxing.”
Open odds: Spieth 7/1 to win; Tiger, Rory 14/1
Only 18 holes remain in the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie, and the man tied atop the leaderboard is the same man who captured the claret jug last year at Royal Birkdale.
So it’s little surprise that Jordan Spieth is the odds-on favorite (7/4) to win his fourth major entering Sunday’s final round.
Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner, both tied with Spieth at 9 under par, are next in line at 5/1 and 11/2 respectively. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, both four shots behind the leaders, are listed at 14/1.
Jordan Spieth: 7/4
Xander Schauffele: 5/1
Kevin Kisner: 11/2
Tiger Woods: 14/1
Francesco Molinari: 14/1
Rory McIlroy: 14/1
Kevin Chappell: 20/1
Tommy Fleetwood: 20/1
Alex Noren: 25/1
Zach Johnson: 30/1
Justin Rose: 30/1
Matt Kuchar: 40/1
Webb Simpson: 50/1
Adam Scott: 80/1
Tony Finau: 80/1
Charley Hoffman: 100/1
Austin Cook: 100/1
Wandering photographer costs McIlroy on 16
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy bogeyed two of his last four holes Saturday to fall four shots off the lead at The Open.
One of those mistakes might not have entirely been his fault.
McIlroy missed a short putt on the par-3 16th after a photographer was “in a world all his own,” wandering around near the green, taking photos of the crowd and not paying attention to the action on the green.
“It’s fine,” McIlroy said after a third-round 70 put him at 5-under 208, four shots off the lead. “It’s one of those things that happens. There’s a lot of people out there, and it is what it is. It’s probably my fault, but I just didn’t regroup well after it happened.”
McIlroy also bogeyed the home hole, after driving into a fairway bunker, sending his second shot right of the green and failing to get up and down.
“I putted well,” he said. “I holed out when I needed to. I just need to make the birdies and try to limit the damage tomorrow.”
Kisner not expecting awkward night with Spieth
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – It might get awkward in that star-studded rental house Saturday night.
Two of the three Open co-leaders, Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner, are sharing a house this week near Carnoustie. Though it’ll be late by the time they both get back to the house Saturday night, they’ll have plenty of time to kill Sunday morning, with their tee times not until nearly 3 p.m. local time.
“Everybody is probably going to get treatment and eating and trying to find a bed,” Kisner said. “I’m sure there’ll be some conversations. There always are. Everybody has a few horror stories or good laughs over something that happened out there. That will probably be the end of it.”
One thing they’re almost certain to discuss is the weather.
After three days of mostly benign conditions, Sunday’s forecast calls for warm temperatures and wind gusts up to 25 mph.
“When you watch any TV, that’s all they talk about – how Sunday’s coming,” Kisner said. “It’s going to be a true test, and we’ll get to see really who’s hitting it the best and playing the best.”
Zach Johnson is also in the house – along with Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas, Jimmy Walker and Jason Dufner – and he rode to the course Saturday with Kisner, with whom he played in the final group, at 4 p.m. It’s unclear whether the co-leaders Sunday will have a similar arrangement.
This is the third year that Spieth and Co. have shared a house at The Open, though Kisner is a new addition to the group.
“It’s the end of the week,” Kisner said. “Everybody’s got a lot of stuff going on. Everybody’s going their separate ways tomorrow. Tomorrow morning we’ll all sit around and laugh on the couch and talk about why that guy’s making so many birdies.”