By Chris Dunham, PGATOUR.COM
At No. 126 on the money list, Roland Thatcher is growing
accustomed to these pressure situations.
Roland Thatcher showed
flashes on Friday. He eagled two of the three par 5s at TPC
Summerlin, but also gave ground with two bogeys and a double during
a second-round 68. The 34-year-old had no such trouble on Saturday
as he took advantage of an early tee time -- second group off --
with eight birdies en route to an 8 under 63 that propelled him
well up the leaderboard at the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals
for Children Open. At 14 under, Thatcher is currently three shots
behind leader Nick Watney. “I just managed not to make the
mistakes that I made the first couple rounds,” Thatcher said.
“I certainly made plenty of birdies and a couple of eagles
the first couple rounds, but kept making a lot of the other holes
and other mistakes that took the momentum out of the round. Today I
was able to minimize those and I had a clean scorecard, which is
good.” At No. 126 on the money list, the pressure is on
Thatcher to perform in the Fall Series to earn his TOUR card for
the 2012 season. As someone who has survived a similar predicament
each of the last two years, Thatcher knows how much a strong finish
at TPC Summerlin would relieve the pressure moving forward.
“I was 121st in '09 and 122nd last year, so yeah, being 126th
heading into the final stretch is maybe not quite as nerve wracking
as it is for other guys because I've been there quite a bit over
the last few years, he said. “That doesn't mean that I feel
like overly confident or anything like that. I need to go out and
play well tomorrow and take care of best as fast as I can.”
Thatcher currently projects to No. 109 on the money list.