IRVING, Texas -- Keegan Bradley finished a roller-coaster opening nine with a birdie in Saturday's third round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship. Bradley leads by two shots over playing partners Sang-Moon Bae and Tom Gillis as the final group starts the back nine.
Bradley hit just three of seven fairways and five of nine greens on the front side, suffering bogeys at the fifth and sixth holes. But he also rolled in three puts from outside 12 feet to keep the round from slipping away.
Bradley made the turn 1 under on his round and 12 under for the tournament.
Gillis and Bae are each 2 under for their rounds and 10 under for the tournament.
The next closest pursurer is Harris English at 8 under.
IRVING, Texas -- Sang-Moon Bae, in chasing after leader Keegan Bradley, rolled in a 32-foot birdie putt at the par-3 second hole in Saturday's third round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
Bae is 2 under on his round through eight holes, putting him at 10 under at that point.
IRVING, Texas. -- Tournament leader Keegan Bradley hit a 128-yard approach shot to 11 feet at the par-4 third, then sank the putt for his first birdie in Saturday's third round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
Bradley is even par on his round through seven holes and remains 11 under for the tournament, two shots ahead of playing partners Tom Gillis and Sang-Moon Bae.
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
IRVING, Texas -- Ken Venturi, the 1964 U.S. Open champ and famed TV golf analyst who died Friday at the age of 82, enjoyed a longtime friendship with Byron Nelson.
Peggy Nelson, Byron's widow, relayed the story Saturday of the first time Venturi saw Lord Byron. Venturi was just a kid and had taken a camera to the course to watch Nelson compete in a TOUR event. Venturi, in his eagerness to watch Nelson, found himself a little too close to the action.
"Byron said, 'Kid, could you move back under the ropes a little?'" Peggy said. "Ken goes home and tells his mom, 'I met the greatest man today, Byron Nelson, and he spoke to me.' His mother said, 'What did he say?'
'He said get out of the way, please.'"
Peggy Nelson discussed the fondness her late husband had for Venturi. Byron struck up a friendship when Venturi was a decorated amateur player, and they maintained that friendship for decades. When the PGA TOUR made its stop in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and Venturi was working for CBS, he would get together with Nelson, who also had a brief career as a TV golf analyst.
"I'm sure one of the things Kenny would've learned from Byron is how Byron was so kind and so understanding and compassionate to the golfers out there," Peggy said. "He was not critical of them. He wouldn't make any kind of negative comments even if they missed a shot."
One of the most celebrated events involving Nelson and Venturi was a match at Cypress Point in 1956, in which Nelson -- already retired as a pro golfer -- and his Fort Worth rival Ben Hogan took on amateurs Venturi and Harvie Ward. Few people knew the details of the event until Mark Frost wrote the book, "The Match: The Day the Game of Golf Changed Forever."
From then on, Nelson and Venturi remained friends. After Lord Byron died in 2006, Venturi stayed in touch with Peggy.
"Just a precious, precious friendship," Peggy said. "I think if Byron could have, he would've adopted Kenny. He was a great guy."
Mike McKinley, the HP Byron Nelson tournament chairman, also recognized the relationship between Byron Nelson and Venturi.
"Ken Venturi was a great friend of the tournament and he will be dearly missed," McKinley said in a statement. "Ken was the first of the young golfers that Byron mentored and he remained very close to Byron. He was a great friend to our tournament. The world of golf has lost another of its great gentlemen."
IRVING, Texas -- The final threesome has teed off in Saturday's third round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship. By early indications, scores may not be as low as in the first two rounds.
Justin Leonard, starting his round off the 10th tee, had the quickest start of any player, with birdies in his first three holes. That's the good news. The bad news is that the Dallas native, making his 20th start in his hometown event, started 11 strokes off the lead held by Keegan Bradley.
Brian Harman and D.H. Lee also are 3 under in their rounds and have moved inside the top 10 of the leaderboard.
Sang-Moon Bae has made up two of the three shots in which he trailed Bradley after the second round. Bae birdied his first two holes and is at 10 under, one shot behind Bradley.
Martin Kaymer and Camilo Villegas also have started strong; both are 2 under on their rounds through six holes.
Jordan Spieth, the 19-year-old from Dallas, is 2 over through his first nine holes and has dropped to 1 under.
FOLLOW THE FINAL GROUPS ON SHOT TRACKER
Keegan Bradley is seeking his second win at the HP Byron Nelson Championship (Pennington/Getty Images)
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
IRVING, Texas -- With a three-shot lead entering Saturday's third round, Keegan Bradley is in good position to achieve something no player at the HP Byron Nelson Championship has done in 32 years: win wire to wire.
Tom Watson did it in 1980 en route to winning the tournament for the third consecutive year (and fourth overall). In 1976, Mark Hayes also went wire to wire. Those are the only two HP Byron Nelson winners known to have won wire-to-wire. (Complete first-round scores are not available for inaugural event in 1944 won by Nelson himself.)
Bradley surged to the top of the leaderboard with a course-record 60 on Thursday that gave him a three-shot lead, and he maintained it on Friday with a second-round 69 under tougher afternoon scoring conditions.
"A three-shot lead with two rounds to play is a huge positive," Bradley said.
Bradley's three-stroke lead ties for the second-largest 36-hole advantage on the PGA TOUR this year (see chart below). Phil Mickelson had the largest 36-hole lead at the Waste Management Phoenix Open when he lead by four and eventually went on to finish off the only wire-to-wire win on TOUR this year.
Will Bradley follow suit? He's trying not to get too far ahead of himself.
"I can think about (winning) a little bit but we have two more rounds to play," Bradley said. "I certainly like my chances. I love this course and obviously the position I'm in is great. But I'm going to have to play really good golf to win the tournament.
LARGEST 36-HOLE LEADS IN 2013
|4||Phil Mickelson||Waste Management Phoenix Open||Won|
|3||Dustin Johnson||Hyundai Tournament of Champions||Won (event shortened to 54 holes)
|3||Keegan Bradley||HP Byron Nelson Championship||???|
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
IRVING, Texas -- Eleven players are within five shots of Keegan Bradley's lead entering Saturday's third round of the HP Byron Nelson Championhip. Of course, the closest players are three shots off the pace, thanks to Bradley's course record 60 that he shot on Thursday.
With threesomes instead of the usual twsomes set for the third round, here's a look at the final four groups teeing off at No. 1 on Saturday at TPC Four Seasons Resort:
12:10 p.m. ET
Harris English (-6), Gary Woodland (-6), Scott Piercy (-6) -- Woodland comes off a 65, one of the lowest rounds produced from the Friday afternoon wave. He made two putts of over 35 feet in the second round. English opened with a 64 on Thursday. Piercy entered this week ranked 174th on TOUR in bogey avoidance but has suffered just two bogeys this week.
12:20 p.m. ET
Angel Cabrera (-6), Graham DeLaet (-6), Ted Potter Jr. (-6) -- A double bogey late in Friday's round knocked Cabrera out of a tie for second. He's hit just 11 of 28 fairways this week. Potter and DeLaet had bogey-free rounds on Thursday.
12:30 p.m. ET
Charl Schwartzel (-7), John Huh (-7), Ryan Palmer (-7) -- Schwartzel, making his first start in this event, leads the field in greens in regulation; he was a perfect 18 for 18 on Thursday and followed by hitting 16 of 18 greens Friday. Palmer has top-10 finishes in his last two starts here, losing in a playoff two years ago to Keegan Bradley. Huh's best result this year was a T11 at the Masters; he leads the field in proximiity to the hole.
12:40 p.m. ET
Keegan Bradley (-11), Tom Gillis (-8), Sang-Moon Bae (-8) -- Bradley, not surprisingly, leads the fields in birdies with 14. He's seeking his second win here in three starts. Gillis tied his career-low with a 63 on Friday; he leads the field in strokes gained-putting, having picked up 7.7 strokes on the field through two rounds. Bae tied for eighth earlier this year at the Northern Trust Open, his best finish this year.
Because 83 players the made at the HP Byron Nelson Championship, the field will use split tees Saturday at TPC Four Seasons.
There will be a secondary cut after the third round, with the top 70 players (and ties) moving on to the final round The PGA TOUR oftenmust use split tees in the third round when an unusually high number of players make the cut. Three weeks ago at the RBC Heritage, 91 players made the cut.
Leader Keegan Bradley is out last at 12:50 p.m. ET with Tom Gillis and Sang-Moon Bae.