Two non-winners atop the leaderboard at the Champions Tour’s Boeing Classic
Scott Dunlap, with the help of an eagle on the way to a 63, is at 12 under with Doug Garwood right behind at 11 under
The Seattle Times
SNOQUALMIE — The answer is Dunlap and Garwood.
The name of a successful law firm? Sorry.
The leaders of the Boeing Classic entering the final round Sunday at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge? Yes, and give yourself a golf clap.
But the bigger question is how will Scott Dunlap and Doug Garwood handle the final-round pressure, having never won on the Champions Tour, or the PGA Tour for that matter.
But they certainly were up to the challenge Saturday on moving day. Dunlap shot a 9-under-par 63, the best round of the day, for a 12-under 132 and a one-shot lead over Garwood, who had the second-best round with a 66.
Waiting to pounce if the leaders struggle are Mark Brooks and Tommy Armour III, three shots behind Dunlap. Woody Austin, Fred Funk and Joe Durant are four shots behind the leader.
Meanwhile, favorite Bernhard Langer is nine shots behind after a 71, and Seattle native Fred Couples is 10 shots back after a second consecutive 71.
Dunlap moved up 19 places after a bogey-free round that included seven birdies and an eagle on the par-4 fourth hole where he holed out from about 150 yards. Dunlap knew it was a good shot, but he couldn’t see where it finished.
“(Playing partner) Marco (Dawson) is up on the green when I’m 100 yards away and says, ‘You can leave your putter,’ ” Dunlap said.
Dunlap made 204 starts on the PGA Tour and finished as high as third three times. But he was unable to keep his PGA Tour card for extended periods and also spent time on the Web.com Tour as well as tours in South Africa, South America and Asia.
“In 1995, I played in every continent except Antarctica and Australia,” he said.
Dunlap, 51,said playing all over the world helped him mature, and he is looking forward to playing the final round as the leader.
“I know I can win, it’s just will I?” Dunlap said. “It will be fun.”
Garwood nearly overtook Dunlap on the 18th hole when his 220-yard approach shot on the par 5 took a couple of bounces and momentarily dipped into the hole, before bouncing 18 feet away. He missed the eagle putt and settled for a birdie after nearly making a very rare albatross.
Garwood, who quit the game completely for a decade before resuming in 1999, said he is ready for the big stage Sunday. That should not be surprising considering his father, Kelton Garwood, was an actor who played the undertaker on “Gunsmoke.”
“I take after my dad a lot, so this is like my stage, and when I’m out there I’m acting like a professional golfer,” said Garwood, 51, who lost in a playoff to Tom Pernice Jr. in the Principal Charity Classic in June.
It was a frustrating day for Couples, who missed several putts in the 10-foot range on the front nine. He made a 12-foot par save on the 10th hole, then made an 8-foot birdie putt on the 12th to get to 2 under for the day.
He then hit a great tee shot on the par-3 13th to 7 feet, but his birdie putt lipped out. Then on the 14th, he tried to drive his ball over the canyon and onto the green, but it drifted left of the green and into the canyon. After getting the bad news, he rode back to the tee box to hit again. He finished with a double bogey, and his hopes of winning seemingly ended right there.
Langer has won six times this year and has been in the top 10 in 15 of 16 events. But he had his first triple bogey of the year, on the 11th hole, then bogeyed the par-5 18th to essentially shoot himself out of the tournament. He is tied for 28th.
|After the second round Saturday at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge, par 72.|
|Tommy Armour III||-9|
|TV Sunday: 2 p.m., The Golf Channel|
Scott Hanson: 206-464-2943 or firstname.lastname@example.org