Round 3 Notebook: Children's Miracle Network Classic

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November 13, 2010
Mark Stevens, PGA TOUR Staff

Weather: Partly cloudy with temperatures reaching 77 degrees. Winds from the NNE at 8-12 mph.

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Roland Thatcher shot 2-under 70 Saturday to move to 18-under for the tournament where he holds a four-shot lead over Chris Stroud and a five-shot lead over four other players.

• On the season, Thatcher had made nine of 25 cuts coming into the week. Of the nine cuts Thatcher made, he finished the tournament with an under-par score in only four of them.

• Thatcher's lowest score relative to par after 72 holes in 108 previous TOUR starts was 17-under at the 2009 Buick Open. Thatcher is currently 18-under par after 54 holes.

• The 54-hole tournament scoring record is 23-under 193 by Tim Simpson in 1990. Simpson also owns the tournament record for largest 54-hole lead at six strokes in 1990.

Larry Nelson (1987) and Duffy Waldorf (2000) own the tournament record for largest final-round comeback at six strokes.

Steve Stricker's six-stroke lead after 54 holes at the Northern Trust Open and at the John Deere Classic are the largest on TOUR this season. Four players had four-stroke leads and three of those players went on to win.

• Thatcher and Stroud are both looking to become the 15th first-time winner on TOUR this season. Arjun Atwal was the last to do so at the Wyndham Championship.

• Three players have overcome a five stroke or more deficit on the final day to win this season on TOUR. Stuart Appleby came back from seven strokes behind to win the Greenbrier Classic, Bubba Watson came back from six strokes to win the Travelers Championship and Matt Kuchar came back from five strokes down to win The Barclays.

• This is Thatcher's second career third-round lead on the PGA TOUR. Thatcher led after the second round. His only other leads on TOUR came at the 2004 Reno-Tahoe Open when he led after the first-round and the third-round, but finished T5.

• Thatcher is No. 179 on the money list and in need of a solo second-place finish to get inside the top-125. If Thatcher finished tied for second he would likely come up around $40,000 short of the top-125.

• At the beginning of this season Brett Wetterich (T3/-13) had 17 events to earn $731,077 in his Major Medical Exemption. Wetterich is playing his 16th event at Disney and needs to earn $293,255 more to keep his TOUR card for 2011. If Wetterich does not earn $293,255 this week, he will have one more start next year before his Major Medical Exemption runs out. Wetterich needs a solo third-place finish this week at Disney or no worse than a four-way tie for second to earn enough on the current medical exemption.

Rickie Fowler, Troy Merritt and Aaron Baddeley remained tied in the Kodak Challenge at 17-under. Merritt can take the lead with a final-round birdie, while Fowler and Baddeley need a final-round eagle to move into the lead. If the players remain tied after the round on Sunday they will go to a sudden-death playoff on the par-4 17th hole. The first extra hole will be played from 430 yards, which is where the tees were played for Thursday and Friday's round. The second extra hole will be played as a drivable par-4 from 290-295 yards. Should the playoff go to a third extra hole, the tees would be moved back to 487 yards, which is where they were located for Saturday and Sunday's rounds.

No. on Money List Player Third-Round Position at Disney
125 Troy Matteson (Exempt for 2011) T50
126 Briny Baird T32
127 Aron Price T57
128 Bob Estes MC
129 Michael Connell T15
130 Henrik Stenson (Exempt for 2011) DNP

• The Children's Miracle Network Classic is the last chance for players to move into the top 125 on the money list and earn full exempt status on the TOUR in 2010. Below are players ranked No. 125-130 before the Disney event:

Pos. Player Money List Position Coming into Disney
1 Roland Thatcher 179
2 Chris Stroud 119
T3 Spencer Levin 95
T3 Brett Wetterich 159
T3 Robert Garrigus 122
T3 Brian Gay 59

• Below is where the top-5 players after the third-round of the Children's Miracle Network Classic ranked on the money list at the start of the week.

Rory Sabbatini (-12) recorded eagles on the par-5 4th hole and on the par-5 10th hole. There have been 42 other times on TOUR this year when players have recorded two eagles in one round.

• The third-round leader/co-leader has gone on to win 19 of 44 times on TOUR this season.

• Charles Howell III bogeyed his first hole of the tournament at No. 9 on Saturday. Howell was the only player to go bogey-free through the first two rounds at Disney. Howell has played 13 bogey-free rounds this season, which is best on TOUR.

• Twenty-one of the last 28 Children's Miracle Network Classics have been decided by a single stroke or in a sudden-death playoff.

Vijay Singh (69-71-68) increased his tournament-best streak to 33 straight rounds under par at the Children's Miracle Network Classic. Singh, who won here in 2003, has never shot a score higher than 71 in eight previous Classic appearances.

• Through three rounds the field averaged 70.900 on the par-72 Magnolia Course. The hardest hole in round three was the par-4 17th hole (4.419).

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