Walker seizes control after a 67 in Pebble Beach Pro-Am
The Associated Press
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — The wind was so strong, the conditions so demanding, that Jimmy Walker felt like Saturday at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am was competing against the golf course instead of the rest of the field.
Golf’s hottest player wound up beating them both.
Walker finally made his first bogey of the tournament, and that was only a nuisance. He ran off five birdies at Monterey Peninsula for a 4-under 67, the best score of a blustery day, giving him a six-shot lead going into the final round.
Walker went 187 starts on the PGA Tour without winning. He now has a chance to win for the third time in his last eight tournaments. He won the Frys.com Open last fall about an hour away at CordeValle. He won for the second time this season last month in Honolulu. In both those tournaments, Walker was trailing going into the last day.
This time, he has the largest 54-hole lead at Pebble Beach since Phil Mickelson led by seven in 2005. Mickelson went on to win by four shots.
“I’ve never had whatever big lead this is going into the last round,” Walker said. “Just go out and hit good shots and play good golf and see what happens.”
He was at 13-under 202.
Tim Wilkinson of New Zealand had a 69 and Hunter Mahan had a 72, both at Monterey Peninsula. They were at 208.
Havoc happened on Saturday on all three courses, particularly at Pebble Beach.
The third round was not completed because of a delay lasting 2 hours, 19 minutes due to gusts at 30 mph that made golf balls roll off the green, mostly at Pebble Beach. In a three-course rotation, play has to be stopped at all three courses.
The average score at Pebble Beach was just over 75.
Richard H. Lee, a former Washington Husky, was in fourth by himself at 6 under after a 72 at Spyglass.
As for other ex-Huskies, Chris Williams and Alex Prugh were projected to miss the cut.
Michael Putnam (75 at Pebble Beach) from University Place and Kyle Stanley (72 at Monterey) of Gig Harbor were tied for 51st and just inside the cutline.
• Michael Allen birdied four of his last eight holes for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead over Scott Dunlap and Chien Soon Lu in the Allianz Championship at Broken Sound in Boca Raton, Fla.
A day after becoming the ninth player to shoot a 60 on the Champions Tour, Allen fell out of the lead after playing his first 11 holes in 1 over. He birdied the next two to move into a share of the lead and birdied the last two to finish two rounds at 15-under 129.
• American Cheyenne Woods took a one-stroke lead into the final round of the Australian Ladies’ Masters after shooting a 2-under 71 to stay on track for her first professional victory.
The 23-year-old niece of Tiger Woods had a three-round total of 12-under 207 at the Royal Pines Resort at Gold Coast.
• Pinehurst’s No. 2 course will be set up the same way for both U.S. Opens it will host in June.
U.S. Golf Association Executive Director Mike Davis said Saturday that the par-70 course in North Carolina will play at about 7,500 yards for the men’s Open and about 6,700 yards for the women.