Adams maintains lead at Albertsons Boise Open

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Blake Adams will look to win the Albertsons Boise Open tomorrow and complete a wire-to-wire victory.
September 19, 2009
Joe Chemycz, PGA TOUR Staff

Boise, Idaho -- Saturday's third round at the Albertsons Boise Open wasn't perfect, it wasn't pretty and it wasn't a lot of fun for Blake Adams, but the 34-year old Georgian managed to finish the day in the same spot he started -- sole possession of the lead. Adams struggled to an even-par 71 at the Hillcrest Country Club but will begin Sunday's final round two shots in front of veteran Fran Quinn and rookie Jonas Blixt.

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Adams' 54-hole total is 14-under 199. Quinn and Blixt, who were paired together, each carded 3-under 68s to get to 12-under 201. Ron Whittaker and 2003 champion Roger Tambellini carded 7-under 64s and are at 11-under, three back. Monday qualifier Lucas Lee (64), Australian Andrew Buckle (66) and Craig Bowden (68) share sixth place, four behind Adams, who is No. 4 on the money list and still searching for his first career win.

"I'm fortunate to have a lead for as poorly as I played today," said Adams after hitting only 7 of 18 greens. "It was terrible. I put myself in bad spots. The golf course definitely beat me today but a cushion is a cushion."

Adams started the day with a four-shot lead and despite not having his "A" game made four birdies on the front nine to reach 17-under and take a five-stroke lead to the 10th tee.

"I was very fortunate to be three-under at that point," said Adams. "My greens hit-to-birdie ratio was probably pretty good. I holed out from a bunker and had some good looks at some birdie putts."

A solid back nine and Adams could have put the field away but instead of racing to big lead, Adams had an oil leak that that resembled the Exxon Valdez. His tee shots couldn't find the fairways and he failed to hit any of the first six greens in regulation. He managed to save par twice but gave four shots back with bogeys at 10, 11, 13 and 15.

"I was just trying to make pars. I just didn't hit it good," he said. "I had a lot of wasted shots. I was just throwing them away."

Adams tried everything, including scaling back his tee shots. On the driveable, 293-yard 15th, he kept driver in the bag and hit a mid-iron just to get the ball in the short grass but then pulled his second shot into a back bunker and had virtually no chance of making par.

Adams righted the ship with a huge drive and a wedge to with 18 feet on the 535-yard, par-5, 16th. The two-putt birdie got him back to 14-under and two in front of Quinn and Blixt, who were done for the day.

Adams missed the green with a wedge at the par-3, 17th but salvaged another par and then missed a 20-foot birdie putt at 18. When he finished, he didn't know if he was ahead or behind because he never looked at a leaderboard.

"I knew I wasn't playing well. It didn't matter if I was two shots down or four shots up again. I had enough to worry about because I couldn't figure out where my golf ball was going," he said. "It was a bad day overall. It's just golf. There are a lot of other things in this world to worry about than just playing bad golf."

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Third-Round Notes:

Blake Adams has never held a 54-hole lead on Tour. His best position to date was a T2 at the 2009 BMW Charity Pro-Am, where he was three shots back of leader Michael Sim. Adams shot a final round 69 and finished T3, three back of Sim.

• 12 of the 24 players in the top-25 on the money list made the 36-hole cut. Leading money winner Michael Sim was not entered this week.

Roger Tambellini posted a bogey-free, 7-under par 64 to move into contention at 11-under 202. Tambellini, a winner here in 2003, is making his fifth start in this event and his 64 today is the lowest he's posted at Hillcrest CC.

• Tjaart van der Walt's bogey-free streak ended at 47 holes when he made a bogey-5 at No. 12 Saturday.

• Kentucky's Josh Teater began the third round tied for second place at 10-under and was 3-under though his first seven holes. Teater played the next 11 holes in 8-over par and finished with a 76. He is tied for 42nd place.

• Saturday's third-round scoring average was 69.758.

• Sunday's finish time is scheduled for approximately 5:00 p.m. MT.

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