Monday October 22, 2012
Ryder Cup captain Love and Furyk share McGladrey Classic lead
SEA ISLAND (Georgia): Ryder Cup captain Davis Love, trying to ease the sting of last month’s US loss to Europe, closed with a 13-foot birdie on Saturday to match veteran Jim Furyk for the third round lead at the PGA McGladrey Classic.
Love, who served as the US captain, and Furyk, who was on the US team that fell at Medinah, each fired four-under 66s in the third round of the US$4mil event to stand atop the leaderboard at 13-under 197.
India’s Arjun Atwal and American D.J. Trahan shared third on 199 with Bud Cauley of the United States another stroke adrift in quest of a US$720,000 top prize from the penultimate event of the US PGA season.
The event is aimed at players seeking to crack the top 125 on the season’s money list and thereby claim a tour spot for 2013.
Atwal, who led by one stroke when the day began but fired a 69, needs a solo second-place finish or better this week to reach the top 125 for the season.
Furyk, ninth on the money list, made back-to-back birdies at the second and third holes, added another at the par-3 sixth and began the back nine with a birdie before closing with eight pars.
Furyk, 42, has seven top-10 finishes this season but still seeks his first title since the 2010 Tour Championship. He has 16 career US PGA crowns.
“My expectations weren’t overly high, but my game was in good shape, and every day I’ve improved a little bit and gained a little more confidence,” Furyk said.
This is the fourth time this year he has had at least a share of the lead going into the final round. Furyk said he had to stay focused on the chance of success, and not on the possibility that he could again fail to finish the job.
“It’s an opportunity for me to go out and win a golf tournament, and I’m not trying to make up for the rest of the year,” Furyk said. “What happened, happened. It’s over with. I can’t change it.”
Love, 48, is seeking his 21st career PGA Tour victory and his first since 2008.
The tournament host is enjoying his home field advantage - as well as a release from the stresses of his Ryder Cup captaincy.
“It’s nice to be 100 % focused on my golf,” said Love, who had a share of the third-round lead at Memphis this year and finished tied for third.
Love answered a bogey at the fourth with a birdie on the next hole and then added back-to-back birdies at the par-5 seventh and par-4 eighth. He birdied the 11th, stumbled to a bogey at 13 but responded with a birdie at the par-5 15th before sinking his clutch putt at 18 to grab a share of the lead.
Defending champion Ben Crane of the United States fired a 62 to join a group sharing sixth on 201 that included South Africa’s Rory Sabbatini and Australian Mathew Goggin.
“Worked on the putting and found a little something that helped,” Crane said. “I started making 15 or 20 footers. Didn’t really hit it close. Just kept making putts from the other side of the green. All in all it was a great day.” — AFP