Seven players within four shots of the lead at the Houston Open have never won on the PGA Tour. Twelve of them still aren’t in the Masters. One of them includes a journeyman who had to qualify Monday to get a tee time at Redstone Golf Club.
In a tournament loaded with so many possibilities, one of the big surprises is a major champion.
Stewart Cink has not been heard from much since that day at Turnberry in 2009 when he beat Tom Watson to win the British Open. His highest finish since then was third, and that was in the four-man field at the PGA Grand Slam of Golf. In 81 starts since becoming a major champion, he has missed the cut 30 percent of the time. He has plunged to No. 272 in the world ranking.
Cink finished off another solid round Saturday by saving par form the bunker on the 18th hole for a 4-under 68, giving him a share of the lead with Greer resident Bill Haas.
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“Tomorrow is a great learning opportunity for me to get out there and be nervous and perform and try to stay in the moment and let it happen,” Cink said. “I can’t wait.”
Haas, the co-leader after 36 holes at Bay Hill last week, made seven birdies over his last 13 holes for a 67 and joined Cink at 11-under 205.
Now comes the hard part, 20 players separated by four shots on a course where birdies are available, but the slightest miss can prove costly.
“Tomorrow you’re going to have to play very well,” Haas said. “You can’t just hang on and hope everybody else will fall back.”
Steve Wheatcroft, who got into this tournament through a Monday qualifier, was one shot out of the lead, along with Ben Crane (67), D.A. Points (71) and Jason Kokrak (71).
German expands Hassan II lead
At Agadir, Morocco, Marcel Siem of Germany shot a 3-under 69 to extend his lead to four shots after the third round of the Hassan II Trophy.
The French Open champ has a 15-under total of 201 in the European Tour event.