BOISE, ID -- D.A. Points said that Jim McGovern is his favorite guy to play golf with on the Nationwide Tour. After Points carded a third-round 8-under-par 63 to tie McGovern for the lead at the $675,000 Albertsons Boise Open presented by First Health, Points and McGovern will be paired in the last group for Sunday's final round.
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"He's one of my best friends out here," Points said of McGovern. "We can joke around on the course and have a good time. It will be as relaxing of a final group as I can think of. We will have a good time out on the golf course tomorrow."
McGovern and Points rank No. 59 and 65 on the money list, respectively. A good finish for either could mean moving into "THE 25" and go a long way towards a return to the PGA TOUR.
Points' day started off strong when he made a 12-foot putt to save par on the first hole. He then followed with back-to-back eagles on holes 2 and 3. It is the first time this year that a player has recorded back-to-back eagles on the Nationwide Tour. It has been all or nothing lately for Points who has made the cut in two of his last five tournaments, but has finished in the top 10 in both.
"Playing well at the right time is important out here. You have to take advantage of it when you have the chance. I am fortunate that I am playing well this week at a tournament with a large purse," Points said. "With a good finish I can make a decent check and move up on the money list."
Points' round of 8-under-par moved the University of Illinois graduate into the third-round lead for the first time since the 2004 Pete Dye West Virginia Classic, which coincidentally was his last victory on the Nationwide Tour.
McGovern, who started the day with a two-stroke lead, finished the 14th hole at even par for the day. Birdies on holes 15, 16 and 18 kept the 42-year-old in Sunday's final group and with at least a share of the lead for the third straight day.
"I thought I played pretty good. I didn't make as many putts today as I did the first two days, but that's golf," McGovern said. "It was a good round. I wanted to get into that last group, so it was nice to finish the way I did. D.A. and I are good friends. He is good people."
The graduate of Old Dominion University played in the inaugural tournament in Boise in 1990. The Albertsons Boise Open is one of four remaining tournaments that were on the Nationwide Tour's original schedule 17 years ago. Since then, McGovern has bounced between the Nationwide Tour and the PGA TOUR, winning three Nationwide Tour events and the 1993 Shell Houston Open on the PGA TOUR. The last time he led or shared the lead after three rounds was the 1999 Tri-Cities Open where he finished T-4.
South African Brenden Pappas and Australian Aron Price are each two strokes off the lead with Peter Tomasulo and Matthew Jones leading a group of five players who are three strokes back. Pappas, winner of the 2006 Rex Hospital Open, ranks No. 31 on the money list. The 37-year-old is $22,889 outside of the 25th spot on the money list, held by Miguel Carballo who is currently T52 in Boise. Pappas finished 2004 no. 137 on the PGA TOUR money list, narrowly missing his card, and last year finished 24th on the Nationwide Tour money list, missing his PGA TOUR card by $12,000.
Price is 43rd on the money list with two top-10 finishes and five top-25 finishes, including a T2 finish at the Livermore Valley Wine Country Championship at Wente Vineyards.
"On this tour, any player could put up a low number and come from well back tomorrow. I think tomorrow is going to be a shootout," McGovern said. "It's going to come down to those final four holes."
Third-Round News & Notes: Saturday's round was McGovern's 11th straight round of par or better... Saturday's scoring average was below 70 for the third straight round at 69.462. It is the first time in tournament history that the first three rounds have all been below 70... The third-round leader has gone on to win this event 7 of 11 times. This season, the third-round leader has gone on to victory 14 of 26 times.