Chevron World Challenge: Round 3 notebook

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December 05, 2009
Doug Milne, PGA TOUR Staff

Weather: Cool and overcast in the morning with temperatures in the lower 50s. Afternoon highs reached into the upper 50s under partly cloudy skies. Winds light and variable 4-8 mph.

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• Making the most of a last-minute invite to replace Tiger Woods, Graham McDowell fired a 6-under 66 in Round 3, culminating with a testy 15-foot par save at the 18th hole to take a share of the lead with Y.E. Yang at 10-under.

• McDowell made the turn in Round 3 at 6-under before going birdie-birdie-birdie-eagle-par-birdie on holes 10-15. He played the six-hole stretch in 6-under.

• The highlights of McDowell's round began with an eagle-3 at the 568-yard 13th hole. McDowell used a 3-wood to hit his second shot inside of 20 feet, before making the putt to get to 11-under. At the par-3 15th, McDowell dropped a 60-foot bomb of a birdie putt, his 18th birdie of the week, to get to 12-under-par.

• In Round 3, McDowell hit a week-long best 12 of 13 fairways off the tee and was 13 of 18 in greens in regulation. He needed just 26 putts in Round 3, the fewest of his first three rounds.

• McDowell is currently ranked 55th in the World Golf Rankings. With a top-three finish this week, he would likely move into the top-50 in the rankings and earn a spot into the 2010 Masters. This is the first year the Chevron World Challenge has awarded World Golf Rankings points.

• McDowell was a perfect 11-for-11 in cuts made on the PGA TOUR in 2009, with a best finish being a T10 at the PGA Championship. On the European Tour, he also claimed T10 honors at the European PGA Championship en route to making 15 of 19 cuts on that Tour.

• McDowell, who went 2-1-1 in his first Ryder Cup appearance for the Europeans in 2008, posted a PGA TOUR best finish of T2 at the 2005 Bay Hill Invitational.

• Playing with flu-like symptoms he developed on Monday of this week, Y.E. Yang birdied his first hole of the day to get to 10-under and open up a three-stroke lead. Due, perhaps, to a lingering illness, however, Yang posted two bogeys on the front nine to drop back to 8-under. The 36-hole leader would right the ship and post a 1-under 71 to take a share of the 10-under lead with McDowell.

• Like McDowell, Yang hit a week-long best 12 of 13 fairways in Round 3, but hit a week-long round-worst 11 of 18 greens in regulation.

• In 2009, Yang missed just four cuts in 23 starts. In addition to his two wins, he posted an additional two top-10s, a T8 at the RBC Canadian Open and a fifth place finish to Tiger Woods a week later at the Buick Open.

• Yang has previously held the 54-hole lead just once. Earlier this year, he led after 54-holes at the Honda Classic before going on to win his first PGA TOUR event.

• The third round leader/co-leader at the Chevron World Challenge has gone on to win four times since the event's 1999 inception. Woods did it in 2007 and in 2003 Davis Love III achieved the feat. Padraig Harrington claimed his first victory on American soil at Sherwood Country Club after holding the 54-hole lead, and Tom Lehman held the 54-hole lead before winning the inaugural event in 1999.

• Harrington, who began the third round two strokes off Yang's lead at 7-under, held steady on Saturday with a 2-under 70, just one back of McDowell and Yang's lead.

• Harrington, who is competing in his eighth Chevron World Challenge this week, won the event in 2002. With an additional three top-5s and two top-10s that followed the win at Sherwood, Harrington remains in prime position to post another equally strong finish in 2009.

• Harrington is the only former Chevron World Challenge winner in this year's field.

Jim Furyk, playing in his seventh Chevron World Challenge, posted a 5-under 67 in Round 3 to take a two-stroke deficit into Sunday's final round. Of the previous six times Furyk has competed at Sherwood, he has finished third, fifth, sixth twice, ninth and 15th.

• Furyk, notoriously one of the game's most accurate ball-strikers, has struggled of late. In 2006, he was ranked fourth in greens in regulation. The following year of 2007, he ranked sixth. In 2008 and 2009, however, he plummeted to 48th and 98th, respectively

Kenny Perry, who began the third-round in second place, couldn't get much going in Round 3, posting an even-par 72. He trails McDowell and Yang's lead by three strokes.

• Perry, competing in his fifth Chevron World Challenge, has never finished better than fifth at Sherwood Country Club (2005).

• England's Ian Poulter fired a 3-under 69 in Round 2 to head into the weekend just two strokes off McDowell and Yang's 10-under lead.

• On the PGA TOUR in 2009, Poulter made 13 of 17 cuts, five of which were top-10 finishes. The highlight of his year on TOUR was a runner-up finish to Henrik Stenson at THE PLAYERS Championship in May.

• Poulter split his time between the PGA TOUR and European Tour in 2009, making 10 of 11 cuts overseas. Of those 10 made cuts, he managed to parlay three into top-10 finishes.

Player Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Score Position
Lucas Glover 74 67 70 5 under T9
Martin Kaymer 73 72 72 1 over 15
Graeme McDowell 71 69 66 10 under T1
Sean O'Hair 71 67 71 7 under T7
Ian Poulter 68 69 71 8 under T5
Y.E. Yang 70 65 71 10 under T1

• A total of six players are competing in their first Chevron World Golf Challenge. Here's a look at how they've fared through 54 holes:

• The toughest hole in round three was the 456-yard, par-4 fourth, with a stroke average of 4.333. From the field of 18, the fourth hole surrendered just one birdie all day, but claimed five bogeys or worse.

• Sherwood Country Club's easiest hole in round three was the 568-yard, par-5 13th. The stroke average there was also 4.333.

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