PGA Tour

Cink, Haas share PGA lead

2013-03-31 09:12
Bill Haas (AP)

Houston - Rory McIlroy struggled again on Saturday, his chance to win and overtake Tiger Woods for World No 1 dwindling as Americans Stewart Cink and Bill Haas shared the PGA Houston Open lead.

Haas fired a five-under par 67 while Cink, who has not won since defeating Tom Watson in a playoff at the 2009 British Open, shot a 68 to stand atop the leaderboard on 11-under 205, both nine strokes ahead of World No 2 McIlroy.

Woods, a 14-time major champion chasing the all-time record of 18 majors won by Jack Nicklaus, won his third event of the year last week at Bay Hill to pass McIlroy and take the top spot in the rankings for the fist time since 2010.

McIlroy, who has played only 11 competitive rounds this year, could reclaim the top spot with a victory this week but he only made the cut on the number and stumbled late on his way to a 71 on Saturday.

The Northern Irish standout, a two-time major winner, birdied the par-4 second, the par-3 seventh and par-5 eighth. Another birdie at the 12th had him lurking within reach of the lead pack.

But McIlroy followed with bogeys at the par-5 13th and par-3 14th and closed with another bogey to finish in a share of 48th, showing no sign of making the astonishing climb it would take for victory on Sunday.

Even though he made little headway on the leaderboard, McIlroy was pleased with his round.

"I hit the ball really well," he said. "It's the best I've hit it on the golf course this week. So I take a lot of positives from it.

"Obviously the finish wasn't what I wanted. Just some silly mistakes from rustiness, I guess. I think with a little more competitive play, I'll eradicate that."

McIlroy has made sure he'll get more play before the Masters by adding next week's Texas Open in San Antonio to his schedule. He committed to the tournament on Friday afternoon.

"I think it's a good decision, and I'm obviously looking forward to getting a few more rounds under our belt going into Augusta," he added.

Haas did make a move, shrugging off a bogey at the third with a run of three birdies in a row ending at the eighth followed by a birdie-birdie start to the back nine.

After a bogey at 13, Haas responded with birdies at the par-3 14th and 16th holes.

Cink had back-to-back birdies at the seventh and eighth and again at the 11th and 12th holes and answered his lone stumble of the round, a bogey at the 14th, with a birdie at the 15th.

The US veteran expected to feel a few butterflies as he tries to get back to the winner's circle.

"I'll be nervous and I definitely will not be ignoring the fact that I'll feel a little bit nervous tomorrow, but that's just natural human behavior and I'm looking forward to it," Cink said. "To get back in the hunt is what you play golf for."

Americans Ben Crane, DA Points, Steve Wheatcroft and Jason Kokrak shared third on 206. A pack of nine on 207 included England's Lee Westwood, South African Louis Oosthuizen, Sweden's Henrik Stenson, Argentina's Angel Cabrera and American Keegan Bradley.

Leading scores on Saturday after the third round of the $6.2m PGA Houston Open (USA unless noted, par-72):

205 - Stewart Cink 71-66-68, Bill Haas 68-70-67

206 - Ben Crane 69-70-67, DA Points 64-71-71, Steve Wheatcroft 67-67-72, Jason Kokrak 66-69-71

207 - Bud Cauley 68-74-65, Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 70-72-65, Lee Westwood (ENG) 68-72-67, Billy Horschel 68-72-67, Kevin Chappell 70-70-67, Keegan Bradley 70-70-67, Henrik Stenson (SWE) 69-70-68, Angel Cabrera (ARG) 66-72-69, Cameron Tringale 65-73-69

208 - Brian Davis (ENG) 67-70-71

209 - Greg Owen (ENG) 68-73-68, John Merrick 68-72-69, Charley Hoffman 68-71-70, Dustin Johnson 69-70-70

210 - Phil Mickelson 72-71-67, Chez Reavie 72-70-68, Graham DeLaet (CAN) 71-71-68, Josh Teater 74-67-69, Scott Verplank 72-68-70, John Rollins 65-74-71


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Which is your favourite event on the golfing calendar?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.