Monday March 11, 2013
Gomez and Brown share lead in Puerto Rico Open
RIO GRANDE (Puerto Rico): Argentina’s Fabian Gomez, seeking his first US PGA Tour title, fired a seven-under 65 on Saturday to match American Scott Brown for a share of the lead at the Puerto Rico Open.
Gomez and Brown, both second-year PGA players whose best career finish on the US Tour came at this event a year ago, finished the third round of the US$3.5mil event on 18-under 198 for 54 holes.
Brown – whose hometown of Augusta, Georgia, is also the site of the Masters every April – fired a 67 on Saturday to join Gomez in the final group. Brown, 29, finished fifth in last year’s Puerto Rico Open.
Gomez, 34, finished in a share of seventh here last year. Gomez shared 10th at last year’s qualifying tournament to keep his PGA playing rights for 2013.
Four strokes off the pace in a share of third were Americans Blayne Barber, Brian Stuard, Jordan Spieth and Steve LeBrun with Morgan Hoffmann on 203.
Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa, last year’s Puerto Rico Open runner-up, hit his first US PGA Tour hole-in-one on Saturday, using a 6-iron to ace the 236-yard eighth.
Ishikawa also eagled the par-five 15th and closed with back-to-back birdies on his way to a six-under 66 that put him in a group of seven players on 204.
Argentina’s Andres Romero, the 36-hole leader by a stroke over Brown, went six-over on his last seven holes on the way to a 75 that left him seven back.
With 65 of the Tour’s top players at the World Golf Championships event at Doral in Miami this week, the Puerto Rico event offers a title chance to some of the PGA’s unheralded standouts.
Gomez, who began the day three strokes behind 36-hole leader Andres Romero, opened with three birdies and added another at the par-five fifth hole. He closed the front nine with back-to-back birdies before stumbling with a bogey at 10. — AFP