PGA Tour

Bowditch leads at soggy PGA event

2015-05-31 06:42
Steven Bowditch (AFP)

Irving - Australia's Steven Bowditch fired a four-under par 65 on Saturday to seize a two-stroke lead after the third round of the rain-soaked PGA Tour's Byron Nelson tournament.

Bowditch, whose only PGA win came at last year's Texas Open, stood on 13-under 195 after 54 holes. He has managed only four top-10 finishes in 145 prior tour starts but has been on top after opening with a 62 Thursday.

Sharing second were Americans Dustin Johnson, Jon Curran, Scott Pinckney, Jonathan Randolph and Jimmy Walker with Americans Charley Hoffman, Joe Affrunti and Ryan Palmer another stroke behind.

Heavy rain that has swamped the course and made the 14th fairway unplayable forced Friday's final 33 players to finish their second rounds on Saturday morning before the cut.

Bowditch and the last group finished in the twilight to get the event back on schedule, but threesomes and two tees will be used Sunday as well.

Bowditch has taken advantage of the wet weather by finding the fairway and attacking damp greens.

"Just stick to what you know and stay aggressive," Bowditch said. "Stick to the fairways. It's really wet out there. You can really attack any pin out there with these greens so receptive."

Bowditch led after 54 holes on the way to his Texas Open win last year and can take some comfort in that as he bids for another win in the Lone Star state.

"I don't know about comfort level," he said. "I guess you draw back on experience but every day is different. You never know what hurdles are coming up. You just know you have a chance on that back stretch."

Bowditch birdied the third and had back-to-back birdies at the sixth and seventh before closing the front nine with a bogey. He responded with birdies at the 11th and rain-altered par-3 14th.

The 14th was trimmed from a par-4 to a par-3, 104-yard hole because the fairway was flooded, dropping par for the last three rounds to 69.

Randolph had an eagle and four birdies and was level with Bowditch for the lead until the 18th hole, when he found water off the tee and took a double bogey to drop back into the chase pack.

Reigning Masters champion and world number two Jordan Spieth was six strokes off the pace on 201 after a 68.

"Just missed opportunities," Spieth said. "I needed a four-under or more round to stay in the hunt. It's unfortunate. I just didn't have it."

Leading scores after Saturday's third round of the PGA Tour's Byron Nelson tournament (USA unless noted, par 70 round 1, 69 round 2-3 due to rain):

195 - Steven Bowditch (AUS) 62-68-65

197 - Dustin Johnson 67-68-62, Scott Pinckney 69-64-64, Jonathan Randolph 69-63-65, Jimmy Walker 64-66-67, Jon Curran 67-63-67

198 - Charley Hoffman 69-65-64, Joe Affrunti 68-63-67, Ryan Palmer 65-66-67

199 - Brendon de Jonge (ZIM) 70-66-63, Colt Knost 68-65-66, Zac Blair 69-64-66, Cameron Percy (AUS) 67-64-68, Tony Finau 67-64-68

200 - Martin Flores 67-69-64, Jason Dufner 71-65-64, Jerry Kelly 68-64-68

201 - SJ Park (KOR) 68-68-65, Bryce Molder 69-67-65, Kenny Perry 69-68-64, Brooks Koepka 69-68-64, Matt Jones (AUS) 72-63-66, Brandt Snedeker 71-66-64, Daniel Berger 72-65-64, Derek Ernst 67-67-67, Luke Guthrie 69-65-67, Zach Johnson 69-64-68, Jordan Spieth 69-64-68

Read more on:    pga tour  |  golf

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