SAN MARTIN, Calif. -- Just like that Briny Baird’s lead has vanished.
Bryce Molder now leads by two at 16 under after playing making six birdies over his first 14 holes. That has Molder, who has five top-10s this year but no wins, two shots clear of the field with four players, including Baird, tied for second.
How good has Molder been? He has nine one-putts so far and hasn’t come close to making a bogey.
Meanwhile, Shane Bertsch, who entered the week 174th on the money list with just one top-10 this year, is another one of those players who has moved to within two of the lead. He’s 7 under on the day through 16 holes, which includes making eagle on the par-5 15th.
Playing on a major medical, he had nine events to earn just over $605,000 to equal the earnings from the No. 125 position on the 2009 money list to secure his status. Coming into this week, he’d earned just over $250,000.
Ernie Els is also at 14 under. He’s 3 under on his round and looking for his first top-10 of the year. Paul Casey, who was outside the top 125 on the money list at the start of the week, is another stroke back at 11 under.