Round 3 Notes: Constellation Energy Senior PlayersOctober 09, 2010
Dave Senko, PGA TOUR Staff
Weather: Sunny and pleasant with highs reaching the low-80s. Winds were from the WNW at 5-10.
Current Leaderboard:1 -- Mark O'Meara (205/-5); T2 -- Michael Allen, Loren Roberts and Russ Cochran (207/-3); 5 --Joe Ozaki (208/-2); T6 -- Mike Reid, David Peoples and Tim Simpson (209/-1); T9 - Jeff Sluman and Tom Kite (210/Even).
Despite bogeys on two of his last three holes, Mark O'Meara maintained a two-stroke lead heading into Sunday's final round. O'Meara is still seeking his first individual title on the Champions Tour. He teamed with Nick Price to win the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf earlier this year in Savannah, Ga., but has not won an individual title in 65 stroke-play events. He owns nine runner-up finishes.
This marks the first time Mark O'Meara has held sole possession of the lead heading into a final round of an event since the 1996 Mercedes Championship on the PGA TOUR. He won that event. He has been tied for the lead going into the final round three times on the Champions Tour, most recently at the 2009 Cap Cana Championship where he finished T2. He was second and T2 in those other two starts at the 2007 AT&T Championship and the 2009 Toshiba Classic.
Of the three players in the final group, only Russ Cochran (four times) and Mark O'Meara (two times) have played in a final group this year. Cochran won in his last two appearances in the final group in Korea and North Carolina, while O'Meara finished T2 and fourth.
Here are third-round leader Mark O'Meara's statistics through three rounds.
Fairways Hit -- 31 of 42 (73.8 percent/T19)
Greens in Regulation -- 40 of 54 (74.1 percent/T3)
Putts Per Round -- 29.7/T28
Driving Distance -- 268.0/14
In addition to a first prize of $405,000 and 810 points in the season-long Charles Schwab Cup race, the winner of the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship receives an invitation to next May's PLAYERS Championship. Jack Nicklaus and Raymond Floyd are the only two players to have claimed a PLAYERS Championship and a Constellation Energy Senior Players title. There are five players in this year's Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship field who have won THE PLAYERS -- Hal Sutton (1983, 2000); Fred Couples (1984, 1996); Sandy Lyle (1987); Tom Kite (1989); and Fred Funk (2005). Both Sutton and Couples withdrew during this event.
The 54-hole leader or co-leaders have won the event 11 of 20 times since 1990. However, in the last five years, only Loren Roberts in 2007 has held on in the final round. Last year, Jay Haas closed with a 6-under-par 64 and made up five strokes to overtake Tom Watson on Sunday.
O'Meara is the only player in the field to have posted three straight sub-par rounds (68-68-69).
O'Meara has built his two-stroke lead thanks to his success on the par-3 holes. He is 7-under-par on the four par-3 holes at the TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm.
The winner of Sunday's event will receive 810 points in the Charles Schwab Cup race based on double points in all major championships. Bernhard Langer currently leads with 3,014 points, 644 in front of Fred Couples. Langer is currently T19 and will need a top-10 finish to earn points to increase his lead in the race. Couples withdrew after one round due to a back problem.
Maryland native Fred Funk could be on the verge of his fourth straight top-10 finish in this event. He is currently T11 at 1-over-par 211. He was T5, 2nd and T7 in his previous three starts.
Mark Calcavecchia withdrew after nine holes on Saturday with back spasms.
Defending champion Jay Haas is T19 after 54 holes.
Joey Sindelar continues his climb up the leaderboard. He shot a 1-under-par 69 on Saturday to move to T13. He was T56 after the first round and T21 after 36 holes. Maryland resident Mike Reid has moved up as well. He has climbed 25 places after an opening-round 73 left him T31. He is currently T6.